Web Exclusive: Why there's a crunch this holiday shopping season

Web Exclusive

(CNN) - It's not even Halloween yet, but have you started your holiday shopping? We have some reasons why you may want to get a head-start on your holiday wish list.   

Yes, it's the beginning of October and we are already talking holiday shopping. But, this may be worth listening to. It appears the calendar might be a little more crunched this year, so planning ahead may not be the worst thing to do. This year, Thanksgiving falls on November 28th.

That means there are only 25 days between Black Friday and Christmas. To put it into perspective, last year there were 31 days. Apparently it's the shortest stretch it's been in a decade. That's far fewer shopping days and retail experts are already saying it means the stores will be more crowded than ever. 

Analysts say crowds, plus less personalized customer service means aggravation for some. People will still buy the same amount of stuff, just in a more concentrated period. 
Just remember, there are only four full weekends to shop during that crazy period. Last year there were five. On top of that, Hanukah comes extremely early this year. It begins the night of November 27th. 

Ok, so let's talk solutions. Experts say shoppers hoping to avoid crowds should try to go during the week when others are at work, but avoid the lunch hour, and after 5 p.m.  Get this, apparently one of the least crowded times to go shopping is the week after Black Friday when others are shopped out.



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