More consumers plan to buy clothing this holiday season

More consumers plan to buy clothing this holiday season

More US consumers will start their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving this year, the latest research suggests, with online purchasing and the top categories, including fashion, set for growth.

A survey by global information company The NPD Group found half of holiday shoppers plan to start buying before Thanksgiving, up 6% from last year. And regardless of when they begin, most shoppers plan to continue their holiday shopping into December. 

While bricks-and-mortar will be the channel most used by shoppers this year, online will continue to steal share. Two-thirds of consumers plan to do some of their holiday shopping online this year - a 12% increase over 2014. 

Consumers say more of their purchases will come from the online channel, and e-commerce pure-play sites gained the most in terms of planned purchases out of all destinations this year. 

Fashion is among the top planned “super categories” for holiday purchases, with 49% of respondents saying they plan to buy clothing this year, up from 44% last year. 

“Consumers don’t have a need to seek the deals out on Black Friday the way they did during past holiday seasons,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group. 

“Now the deals come to them, early and often. With consumers shopping earlier and more going online, it will be critical for brick retailers to take action in order to compete with the click players.”