A recent survey shows more U.S. consumers are tackling their holiday shopping lists earlier in the season and doing a lot of it online. Jeanne Yurman reports.
Labor Day barbecues just wrapped up and already people are shopping for the holidays. A just-released survey shows one third of consumers are ticking things off their lists now. That's roughly ten percent higher for the same period tracked by a similar survey. And much of this early shopping is happening online. A third of shoppers say most of their purchases will be from the web. Dallas Lawrence is senior vice president of Rubicon Project, which issued the survey. SOUNDBITE: DALLAS LAWRENCE, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, RUBICON PROJECT (ENGLISH) SAYING: "When you ask consumers what are the two biggest drivers of their holiday shopping, price and convenience rank at the top of the list. And there is nothing more convenient than sitting at your home, on your couch, with your mobile device and seeing all the prices and being able to tap and select the item you're going to buy." Despite a plunging stock market, nearly eight out of ten people plan to spend the same or more this year on holiday purchases at $1,000 on average. The survey suggests consumers, with a little more cash on hand thanks to low gas prices, may be feeling more confident. Something also reflected in retail sales figures. Government data out Tuesday shows sales climbing for the second straight month. Standard & Poor's Beth Ann Bovino. SOUNDBITE: BETH ANN BOVINO, U.S. CHIEF ECONOMIST, STANDARD & POOR'S (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It actually looks like a strong report for the U.S. consumer. Good news there that people are still spending, despite all the worries abroad and in the stock market. Maybe it's retail therapy." Earlier holiday shopping may mean new challenges for retailers: Black Friday and other pre-holiday promos may lose some punch. But it's a welcome sign for the U.S. economy, still in recovery.