National Retail Federation says start your holiday shopping now

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Believe it or not, Christmas is less than eight weeks away. And now that we’re in November, the focus starts turning to holiday shopping and doing it in a pandemic.

This holiday shopping season will be unlike those of years past due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bill Thorne with the National Retail Federation said the inventory is going to be there.

"The inventory has come in from overseas, and we had the most number of cargo containers coming in last month in anytime we have ever started tracing that," he said. "It was over 2.4 million I believe."

Thorne said shoppers are ready to start buying, and you may find some deals this holiday shopping season.

"Several retailers have already said they are going to be doing a Black Friday discount every Friday going through the holidays. Others are creating special days. And it doesn't mean Black Friday isn't going to be around. It is going to be around, people are going to shop. It's just going to be an entirely different experience," Thorne said.

Different because of coronavirus precautions; and for those who’d rather hit the stores that shop online, the National Retail Federation is pushing shoppers to start earlier – to avoid any last minute crowds.

Thorne said many of the top 10 e-commerce sites are run by brick-and-mortar retailers and you may find good deals online and in store.

"Now there are incentives. Some of the retailers are saying download the app, you get an additional incentive. I believe online is going to be greater this year than it has been historically, but the stores are going to be stocked and ready. They are going to be safe, they are going to be secure, the associates are going to be trained. People want to shop," he said.

And Thorne said it’s important to shop local, too – whether it’s online or in-person. He said many stores have perfected their online presence over the past several months.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram