According to an AdAge-Harris Poll, 68 percent of Americans agree holiday marketing should not begin until at least Thanksgiving.

The survey of nearly 1,000 U.S. adults was taken in mid-October and more than half of the respondents said they had already seen at least one Christmas or holiday advertisement with seven weeks to go until Christmas.

Holiday promotions have been creeping back toward Halloween for years as retailers seek to get a jump on their competition, but many consumers have also grown accustomed to seeking out deals earlier in the season.

According to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2021 holiday survey, 49 percent of holiday shoppers will start browsing and buying before November, up from 42 percent in 2020 and the highest in the survey’s history. Among those shopping in October or earlier, 47 percent say they want to avoid the stress of last minute shopping and another 36 percent do not want to miss out on key holiday items.

Last year, early deals supported social distancing by lessening the crowds at stores and malls on Black Friday and other major shopping weekends in December. They also encouraged early online purchases to avoid the peak shipping fees that arrive in December.

For 2021, global supply chain bottlenecks and shipping delays have caused a new wrinkle, threatening to result in out-of-stocks of coveted toys and other gift items. NRF’s survey found nearly half (47 percent) of holiday shoppers are concerned they will have difficulty finding items this year. The top items they are worried about finding are electronics (44 percent), clothes (40 percent) and toys (28 percent).

Advertising Age noted that Pottery Barn, Sephora, Williams Sonoma and Hanna Anderson were all running holiday messages by late September. Target ran a “Deal Days” promotion from Oct. 10 to 12 while Amazon’s “Black Friday-worthy” deals ran on Oct. 4.

Most early campaigns have not yet been warning shoppers not to miss out due to the potential shortages, although Zumiez, the action-sports themed chain, has a message on its website reading, “GET IT NOW – Don’t let out-of-stock items and shipping delays screw up your plans.”


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