‘Tis the season for Christmas shopping?

In brick-and-mortar stores, it may still be Halloween, but on the internet, nearly a week before Halloween, Black Friday deals are already starting to drop. 

Research shows that consumers actually wait to buy their holiday gifts later and later each year, while retailers are offering sales earlier and earlier. 

“I don’t feel like the consumer psychology is quite there yet but I think you can see why they’re doing it,” said Chris Walton, a former vice-president at Target.

While we may find it tempting to blame early sales on Thanksgiving falling later in the month, Walton also expressed skepticism a shortened official holiday shopping season had anything to do with it.

“I think it’s honestly just competition. I think it’s just staying in the news,” Walton said.

Amazon accounts for a staggering percentage of all e-commerce I the nation, as much as half by some estimates. Earlier sales, earlier announcements of upcoming sales, free next-day shipping and shopping innovations both online and in stores, from Walmart, Target, Best Buy and others, Walton says, all represent competitive responses t Amazon’s ever-increasing retail dominance.

Whether or not customers respond to all of this jockeying for attention is yet to be seen.