More than Half of U.S. Consumers Plan to Start Holiday Shopping Before Thanksgiving, Reports NPD

October 6, 2021 – NPD – Early season promotional events and ecommerce emphasis are making their mark on the top shopping days.

A recent survey from The NPD Group reveals that 51% of U.S. consumers plan to start their 2021 holiday shopping before Thanksgiving Day, up slightly from last year. Of those early shoppers, more than two-thirds planned to start checking off their gift lists in October or sooner.

“Holiday shopping has been on an earlier start trajectory since Thanksgiving Day store openings in 2014, and then further accelerated by last year’s pandemic shift of Amazon’s Prime Days to October and panic over shipping delays,” said Marshal Cohen,  chief retail industry advisor for NPD. “Holiday 2021 continues the early shopping trend, with the added layer of inventory concerns motivating many shoppers to grab what they want when they see it, instead of waiting for better deals later in the season.”

For the past three years, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have continued to lead the holiday shopping charge. However, last October’s Prime Days, Deal Days, and other competing retailer promotions put October 13, 2020 in the top three shopping days of the fourth quarter for 2020. Once again, retailers like Amazon and Target have announced holiday-type promotions starting this month to further entice consumers to shop early. Black Friday is still the most identified day for finding the best deals for holiday, but recent survey results show the pre-November period growing in significance.

“Early shopping will give way to more inventory as it arrives for the true holiday period, making Thanksgiving weekend a powerful one for shoppers enthusiastic to return to the social aspects of Black Friday shopping activities,” Cohen said. “This holiday season’s exaggerated shopping peaks and valleys, and Cyber Monday, will be somewhat muted by the continuous flow of online shopping that has become more commonplace for the consumer.”  

Read more at NPD.