More than four in ten US consumers already purchased holiday gifts by October of this year, according to a recent survey from The NPD Group.

42% of those shoppers said they started their shopping early because of concerns around availability or supply in stores, but just as many said they made early purchases because they like to get their shopping done before the holidays get hectic.

“The holiday shopping season has changed, but consumer-driven traditions – like taking pleasure in the quest for the perfect gift – will endure even amid pandemic-driven concerns,” says Marshal Cohen, chief retail industry advisor for NPD. “Consumers will hold on to the core characteristics of holiday shopping that mean the most to them, even if the ways they are achieved need to evolve.”

Additional reasons consumers gave for early holiday shopping included to help manage spending better (38%), early deals/promotions (38%) and concerns that COVID-19 cases will rise (20%).

“Once again, this year’s holiday shopping season will look different than past year’s, in terms of when and how purchases are made, as well as the types of gifts that are given,” Cohen says. “The here-and-now shopping mindset that consumers have adopted through the pandemic will continue to play out during the holidays, so manufacturers and retailers must be prepared to pivot along with shoppers.”