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Ready Or Not, The Holiday Shopping Has Already Begun

Despite complaints from some quarters over holiday creep, more and more consumers seem to be starting their fourth-quarter shopping in Q3.

According to a survey by digital ad services firm Rubicon Project, nearly one-third (29 percent) of U.S. shoppers are already snatching up gifts for the holidays.

The news is especially propitious for the CE industry, as about 40 percent of respondents said they plan on purchasing tech items, with 47 percent citing tablets and 34 percent clamoring for video games.

Moreover, fully half of all U.S. consumers said they plan to splurge on a big-ticket item this year, which will most likely be a consumer electronics device.

Among other key findings:

• 31 percent of shoppers plan to spend more this year than last, with holiday expenditures hitting $1,051 on average;
• 75 percent plan to shop online;
• consumers who plan to do most of their shopping online will spend 20 percent more than their in-store counterparts;
• 43 percent of shoppers will compare CE options online before making a purchase in-store;
• 25 percent will shop on their smartphones; and
• Amazon and Walmart are the top shopping destinations, cited by 69 percent and 59 percent of U.S. respondents, respectively – while Best Buy is the No. 1 venue for Canadian consumers, cited by 42 percent.

The annual survey was conducted during the last week of August by polling firm Penn Schoen Berland, which engaged 2,009 U.S., Canadian, and U.K. consumers.