TODAY   |  November 02, 2013

Early bird Christmas sales hit stores

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in some stores. Will customers agree that it's time to get into the holiday spending spirit? NBC’s Stephanie Gosk reports, and NBC’s Mara Schiavocampo reveals the results of a TODAY.com survey in the Orange Room.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> forget black friday. one of the nation's lars retailers says the time to start your holiday shopping is now or even yesterday. stephanie governing is at a walmart store in new jersey with reaction to the early shopping season. stephanie , good morning.

>> reporter: good morning, lester. most kids have only come down from the halloween sugar high . pumpkins still on people's front steps so is it really time to start thinking about christmas ? well, walmart says it is and they hope their loyal fans -- or customers agree. early birds, here is your chance. don't wait for 7thanksgiving. walmart's website says, start the season now.

>> why wait? we have so much fun here at holiday and we really wanted to help our customers get a head start on the holiday season .

>> reporter: an hd tv for just $300 and tablet for $50. all of it shipped for free.??&u so who is ready for the holidays? not this shopper.

>> i think after thavergs is tnksgiving is the right time to shop for the holidays.

>> reporter: with a late thanksgiving, the holiday season is six days shorter than last year. consumer confidence is down. the government shutdown and crisis over the debt ceiling have left a lot of people feeling uncertain about the economy.

>> when the consumer and the general sentiment of the shopper isn't good, shopping doesn't happen, especially during the holiday and retailers are reacting to it.

>> reporter: there are some customers out there waiting for a good deal.

>> we are shoppers so we think shopping early is the best way to go.

>> reporter: each year, it seems the holiday push starts earlier and earlier. black friday the shopping blitz after thanksgiving now really starts on thanksgiving itself. retail giants macy's and jc penny announced they would open on the holiday and starting in the foot steps of target and walmart and toys "r" us made the announcement last year.

>> we are a society of consumers and americans like to shop. i wouldn't be surprised if five years down thep< road, we start seeing christmas promotions in june or july.ubyc

>> reporter: so maybe in the not too distant future, early bird shoppers will be sprinting out for those christmas sales in the middle of their fourth of july barbecue. for the rest of us, we will probably do what we have always done, that last-minute christmas eve dash. lester.

>> stephanie , thank you.

>> i can see that, yes, the last-minute dash.uy? mara is in the orange room with our latest online survey.

>> i think never a bad time for a sale. we put the question on our website. we asked is it too early for online holiday sales? and actually 60% of you said, yes, it is too early. 40% said no. it seems like people want to ease into the holiday shopping. i guess when you start the sales too early is makes people feel rushed and pressured so a lot to do around the holidays and i think after thanksgiving is when they make the$p$$ turn.

>> ? hanukkah first night is on thanksgiving and talk whether or not there may be some pressure to get those gifts bought. maybe it's just calling it a holiday sale is the touch part. you like a sale like i do.

>> never a bad time for a deal. let's just establish that.