Report: Consumers Putting Off Holiday Shopping Until Thanksgiving

New York City, Wal-Mart Stores and other retailers may be in a hurry to jump start holiday sales, but many Americans plan to wait until after Thanksgiving to buy gifts, according to a new survey by market research firm NPD Group.

“I spotted the first holiday set-up in a store on August 18th this year—that’s nearly a month earlier than last year,” wrote NPD’s chief retail analysts Marshal Cohen. “Retailers are looking to start the season earlier but consumers just aren’t ready.” Forty percent of consumers—10% more than last year—said they don’t anticipate beginning their holiday shopping until after Thanksgiving, according to NPD’s 2007 Survey of Consumers’ Holiday Purchase Intentions.

The survey also tried to gauge whether the state of the U.S. economy would impact holiday sales. Only 5% of respondents said they would spend less over the next two months than they did last year.