NEW YORK, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- American Express said Wednesday the rush is on for Black Friday as 29 percent of U.S. consumers said they would be dashing to the stores early this year.
That would be very early. Up from 18 percent in 2011, American Express said its spending tracker found nearly 30 percent of consumers had plans to start shopping between midnight and 3 a.m. Friday.
In addition, nearly half of all shoppers indicated they would be looking for deals on Black Friday -- the day after Thanksgiving -- when retailers traditionally use discounts to kick off the holiday season.
This year, shoppers are going with the age-old adage, the early bird gets the worm. This year, 43 percent of consumers indicated they had begun holiday gift buying before Halloween. In 2011, 35 percent of respondents to the survey indicated they had started that early.
American Express said shoppers expect to spend slightly more this year on the holidays than they did in 2011.
Consumer indicated they would spend on average $848 on gifts this year, up from $831 in 2011.
The average shopping list has eight people on it, the finance company said.