Veena Marcano usually starts her holiday shopping early, but this year she set a new personal record: July. Given everything she had heard about shipping delays, product shortages and price increases, she figured she better get a move on. So she began hitting retailers like Amazon, T.J.Maxx and Burlington, diligently stocking up on gifts for her two kids, nieces and godchildren. Well before Black Friday, she had all that she needed — and then some.
“I have more gifts than kids needing gifts,” says Marcano, 28, who lives in Pennsylvania, and expects to return some books and a craft set.
She’s not alone. For many Americans, the holiday scramble started long before Thanksgiving, with 45% starting their holiday shopping by early October, according to McKinsey. One defense mechanism: Overbuying, with one in five shoppers saying they are ordering more gifts than needed in case some items are delayed or canceled, according to Oracle.
“I think consumers are doing a little bit of hoarding. Things that might not be perfect gifts are still being held onto,” says Anisa Kumar, chief customer officer at retail technology company Narvar. If they get the