Half of holiday shopping completed by Thanksgiving

As retailers start Black Friday sales earlier and earlier, consumers are completing their holiday shopping well in advance of the actual day. In fact, a Market Track survey suggests that half of U.S. shoppers will have completed their holiday shopping by Thanksgiving.

In the survey of 1,000 consumers, 27 percent said that they plan to finish the bulk of their shopping before November, up 8 percent from 2015. Respondents said competitive pricing and special shopping events are the reasons they shop early.

Traci Gregorski, senior VP of marketing at Market Track, said that retailers usually start deals in October and will continue them through to the Saturday before Christmas. "Last year we saw discounts on many hot holiday items at 40 percent below the Black Friday sale price toward the end of the season," she said.

For shoppers waiting until after Thanksgiving, 52 percent plan to shop online on Black Friday, while 61 percent will wait until Cyber Monday. Most of the shoppers in the survey indicated that the majority of their holiday online purchases would be made on Amazon.

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Online interactions will influence 66 percent of the shoppers on their in-store purchases and 73 percent plan to research prices online ahead of shopping in-store.

Going into the holiday season, most retailers are optimistic. According to a survey from Fung Global Retail & Technology and First Insight, more than 60 percent of those surveyed believe that holiday sales will increase over last year, and about 25 percent expect sales to increase between 5 and 10 percent.

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