The leaves have just started changing, Halloween hasn't even started yet, but K-Mart has already aired it's first holiday ad of the season.
The commercial shows a giant gingerbread man sneaking through an office setting and an announcer warns people to not "let the holidays sneak up" on them.
"Doesn't that turn your stomach?" asks CBS Business analyst Jill Schlesinger.
"It's obvious retailers want us in stores as quickly as possible," says Schlesinger, the host of Jill on Money ( Saturdays 4pm- 6pm) .
"The more attuned we get to the idea of shopping, the more likely we are to go to the store or online to try and get those dollars flowing," she says.
And while some shoppers admit to grabbing certain items year round as they see them, it's pretty easy to find folks that are not excited by the early push.
When Do You Start Christmas Shopping?
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|When is it too early for "Christmas Creep" in the stores?|
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"Every year they move it back it becomes more commercial," said one non-holiday shopper at the Boulevard Mall Thursday afternoon.
Added another: " It's too early. Thanksgiving is on top of Halloween, and Halloween is on top of sandals."
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Retail analyst Bert Flickinger
of Strategic Resource Group Inc.
"It bothers me. It bothers me a lot because Christmas is a sacred day and I feel they shouldn't push it," said Mary Ann Garafalo of Buffalo, who also admits to occasionally grabbing an item or two early, before the November frenzy.
"When I see something, I pick it up and put it away, so Christmas shopping starts whenever I am out and get something, " Garafalo says. "I received an ad in the paper for sports gear, so I was just asking my daughter in law if my son would like a jersey for Christmas," she adds.
The National Retail Federation's annual shopping habits survey last year showed that 18 percent begin holiday shopping in or even before September. Last year, the earliest outright Christmas ad was a non-layway oriented Target ad that began on October 7, the earliest ever, according to AdAge magazine.
Schlesinger says last season retailers sold $580 billion, this year they're looking to hit $640 billion . K-mart has already begun advertising the holidays, but Schlesinger says one third of retailers will wait until mid-October.
The K-Mart ad concentrates on the company's lay-away program, and Wal-Mart meanwhile has e-mailed past layway customers a similar reminder.
"Even if you don't see TV or newspaper ads, retailers will take to other methods. "Through mobile or web ads, it's going to be a full out onslaught," notes Schlesinger.