Baltimore • If you're thinking the holiday shopping season has crept up sooner in the year than usual, you might be right.
The buying and selling "is off to an earlier start than any other holiday season I can remember," says Marshal Cohen, who follows retail as chief industry analyst for The NPD Group.
Because most big national retailers already have announced their Black Friday (and Thanksgiving) hours and specials, shoppers have started mapping out strategies while others have headed for the stores, Cohen said.
How does he know this? He's been alerted by NPD's "Holiday Shop-o-Meter," a new tool powered by CivicScience that measures the percentage of holiday shopping consumers have completed.