FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Monday, November 01, 2004

Holiday Shopping to Start Earlier than Ever

Americans will begin -- and complete -- their holiday shopping earlier than ever before, according to a new survey by the Macerich Company. Nearly 70% of the survey's respondents said that they planned to begin "serious" holiday shopping either before Thanksgiving or on "Black Friday," the day after Thanksgiving. Twelve percent planned to shop before Halloween (so if they stuck to their plan, they're done already). Fewer than 3% planned to shop the week before Christmas.

(This survey confirms what we already know -- that Halloween has supplanted Thanksgiving as the unofficial kick-off of the "holiday season." Case in point: Last night, in lieu of more trick-or-treaters than I anticipated, I made an emergency candy run to my local Target. There, they had already broken down the Halloween decor and were rolling out the Christmas lights, ornaments and cards!)

The survey counters predictions of a modest holiday shopping season by projecting a 4% increase in spending over last year. Over 80% of those surveyed planned to spend the same or more on the holidays, versus 19% who planned to spend less. The average American household plans to spend $608.15 on holiday gifts this year.

Apparently, much of that spending will take place online. Online holiday sales are expected to hit nearly $17 billion in sales this holiday season... well more than the nearly $13 billion logged last year.

Source: eMarketer.com