"People really look forward to the holiday season and the discounts that are offered, because they know that they're going to get items significantly less than they may have any other time of the year. You know, when you see cashmere sweaters that were previously $150 now marked down to $30 and $40, that's a great example of what people would be driven towards," says Kathy Grannis of the National Retail Foundation in an interview with National Public Radio.
The practice is called "self gifting." The NRF says that 59 percent of shoppers do it, and spend an average of $140 each.
Of course, as Shannon Mullen of KUOW.org points out, that's just the folks who admit to it. And it's not all fun and games: some shoppers are taking advantage of the increasing number of early sales to get stuff that their family actually needs.
Still, no matter what the reason behind the self-gifting phenomenon, you can bet that retailers are thankful for it.
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