While most might consider October a little early to start thinking about Christmas shopping, the nation's retailers are already preparing discounts to lure prospective customers into their stores.
However, most experts are predicting shoppers will spend only slightly more than they did last year.
According to The National Retail Federation, sales will grow 2.3 percent to $447.1 billion in November and December. In 2009, sales rose only 0.4 percent after dropping 3.9 percent a year earlier.
"While consumers have shown they are once again willing to spend on what's important to them, they will still be very conscientious about price," said NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz.
For many retailers, holiday sales account for 40 to 50 percent of their annual revenue. Consequently, a lot rides on holiday sales.
"Retailers are expected to compensate for this fundamental shift in shopper mentality by offering significant promotions throughout the holiday season and emphasizing value throughout their marketing efforts," he said.