More Than 32 Million Consumers Have Already Started Their Holiday Shopping

It’s only the first week of fall, but the holiday shopping season is already well underway for millions of Americans, according to a new survey by That really should make most Americans feel good about themselves.

About 1 in 7 American adults (14%) said in a survey done over Labor Day weekend that they had already begun their holiday shopping. That means that about 32 million American adults started crossing gifts off their holiday shopping list before many kids around the country even finished their summer break.

Holiday shopping early birds include:

Parents: Parents are about twice as likely (20% to 11%) as those without kids to have started holiday shopping already.
Whites: 16% of whites have begun holiday shopping, compared to just 9% of non-whites.
Online shoppers: 18% of those who said they’d primarily do their holiday shopping online said they’d already started.

Fifteen percent of Americans said they plan to start shopping earlier this year compared to last year, particularly millennials.  Over one-fifth (22%) of 18-29 year olds say they are more likely to start their holiday shopping earlier this year than last year.  Only 9% of people aged 50+ are eager to do the same.

“We love to complain about stores putting up holiday displays earlier and earlier each year,” said Matt Schulz, senior industry analyst at, “but the truth is that millions of Americans start holiday shopping long before the first Christmas tree appears in a store.”

Amazingly, 2% of all consumers – or about 4.6 million people – have already finished their holiday shopping. Grandma and Grandpa are most likely to be ahead of the game: 7% of those over 65 years old have finished shopping, compared to 1% or fewer of those 64 or younger.

About 1 in 4 holiday shoppers (23%) expect to finish shopping by the end of November. The less money you make, the more likely you are to aim to finish your shopping early. Just 19 percent of those who make $75,000 or more per year expected to finish their holiday shopping before December 1, compared to 30% of folks making $30,000 per year.

“If you’re on a budget, getting an early start on holiday shopping can be a great idea,” Schulz said. “For example, it can make it easier to take advantage of layaway programs, which can allow you to make bigger purchases without worrying about running up credit card debt.”

To view the study findings, go to: and happy shopping!