Shoppers have not even Halloween yet, but retailers are already eying how consumers may spend their dollars during the holidays.
The National Retail Federation says that the holiday season can account for 20 to 40 percent of annual sales for retailers. They have forecasted just over $602 billion in holiday spending, up to 3.9 percent from last year.
The calendar, however, may play a role.
This year there is an early arrival of Hanukkah. The holiday will begin on Thanksgiving Day for the first time since 1888. The late Thanksgiving on Nov. 28 means a few less days between Black Friday, the traditional kick off to holiday shopping sprint and Christmas Day.
The recent uncertainty in Washington could also make consumers less willing to spend. This all means consumers could start to see offers from retailers early and often.
Additionally, an annual report from Challenger, Gray and Christmas found that at best, holiday hiring will match the totals of 2012. The report says the bulk of hiring decisions will be made in October. It is recommended that applicants be flexible with the hours they will work and the type of jobs they are willing to do, since needs can change as the season progresses.