Around 35% of consumers will have started holiday shopping by the end of October

Around 35% of consumers will have started holiday shopping by the end of October

Around three out of five shoppers will begin shopping for the holiday season early this year, new figures suggest.

According to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), around 35% of consumers have, or will have, started their holiday shopping by the end of October. And by the end of the Thanksgiving weekend, 86% will have started making purchases.

Procrastinators will be few and far between, the study found, with only 1% of respondents indicating they will start their shopping on Christmas Eve.

But while consumers might be starting their shopping early, they won't necessarily be completing their gift buying, with only 10% of shoppers saying they will finish before Thanksgiving Day. That number will increase "significantly" by December 15, ICSC found.

"Consumers seem to be interested in getting out to stores early this season," said Jesse Tron, spokesperson for ICSC. "As a result, the importance of November to the overall season can't be overlooked as consumers indicate they plan to complete 37% of their holiday purchasing during the month - only slightly behind December's share of 42%. The promotional Thanksgiving weekend is likely having a large impact on those intentions."

On average, consumers expect to spend about US$677 on holiday-related items this season with $559 going towards gifts and $118 going towards other holiday-related items such as decorations.