Why Some People Are Kicking Off Holiday Shopping ... in September

Why Some People Are Kicking Off Holiday Shopping ... in September

Ever see Christmas décor hanging in the stores and think, "But it's not even Halloween yet?"

While the carols and the holiday-sale signs may seem out of place just after Labor Day, the truth is that many consumers already have seasonal shopping on the brain.


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According to a survey conducted by CreditCards.com, about one in seven American adults—that's an estimated 32 million people—have already started stockpiling gifts for the holidays, with many expected to begin soon.

Why the rush? The study suggests that early bird shoppers like to avoid the large crowds—plus, "Last-minute shoppers are not able to do the comparison shopping the early shoppers can do," Kathleen Gurney, C.E.O. of Financial Psychology Group, told CreditCards.com.

So which demos were the most likely to want to jumpstart their gift-buying?

Parents. Not surprisingly, parents were much more likely than non-parents to have begun their shopping, at 20% and 11%, respectively.

Online shoppers. 18% of online shoppers have already started buying from their favorite sites, compared with the 14% who prefer to hit the brick-and-mortar stores.

Millennials. Surprisingly, young people feel more of an urgent need to start early, compared with their older counterparts. In fact, 22% of respondents ages 18 to 29 said they didn't want to procrastinate shopping this year, while only 9% of those over 50 felt the same.

(To be fair, the grandparents take the cake as the truest of early birds—7% of those over the age of 65 say they've already finished all their shopping, higher than any other age group.) 

Less-affluent consumers. Perhaps because they must stick to tighter holiday budgets, Americans with lower incomes were more likely to say they would finish their shopping by the end of November: 30% of those making $30,000 said they would be finished with their shopping by that timeline, compared with just 19% of those making $75,000 or more.

If you're nowhere near completing your naughty-or-nice list yet, don't feel too bad. The reality is, most people are still last-minute shoppers: 55% of us won't finish our shopping until December.

But at least you're not one of the one in five Americans who'll be waiting until Christmas Eve—right?


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