WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation says consumers are embracing the earlier start to holiday shopping, with more than 40% indicating they started earlier this year.

In a survey released by NRF and Prosper Insights & Analytics, 59% of shoppers said they had started making their purchases as of early November, up 21% from 10 years ago.

Despite the early start, however, consumers say they have only completed about one-fourth of their planned shopping so far.

Retailers’ investment in the health and safety of their employees and customers is paying off. More than two-thirds (70%) of holiday shoppers say that, given the precautions retailers have taken for COVID-19, they have felt safe shopping in stores this holiday season.

Earlier this fall, NRF launched a consumer education campaign called “New Holiday Traditions” to encourage consumers to shop safe and shop early. Retailers began stocking holiday inventory and offering holiday promotions as early as October. As a result, 69% of holiday shoppers say they are able to find the items they are looking for all or most of the time, and 84% are confident they will receive their online order on time.

“Consumers have welcomed the longer shopping season, where many retailers have chosen to offer deals before and leading up to the traditional Thanksgiving and Black Friday doorbusters,” Prosper Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said. “These additional offerings translate to more options for holiday shoppers in the long run.”

Credit cards remain the top form of payment consumers plan to use this holiday season at 42%, followed closely by debit cards (41%). Just 15% of consumers listed cash as a top form of payment during the holidays, the lowest in the survey’s history.

In addition, 49% of shoppers plan to use an alternative form of payment such as PayPal, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Venmo.

The survey of 8,362 adult consumers was conducted Nov. 2-9.

The post Shoppers start early and take advantage of extended holiday shopping season appeared first on Furniture Today.

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