NEW YORK, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- The Christmas spirit has already hit several U.S. retail chains that began holiday displays in September, retail analysts said.
"This is a benefit to our customers who like to view everything at once and plan out what they want to buy," Home Depot spokeswoman Jen King said of the early onset of the holiday shopping season.
A lengthy list of stores began decorating for Christmas in the ninth month of the year, The Detroit News reported Saturday.
In Michigan, Macy's, J.C. Penney, Hallmark, Neiman Marcus, American Greetings, Kohl's, Sears and Target are among those that have begun setting up their Christmas displays, the newspaper said.
Among retailers, however, the spirit of Christmas includes a keen sense of competition, industry analysts said.
Among retailers that count on Christmas buying to get through the year, everyone wants to be "headquarters for holiday," said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at NPD Group in New York.
"It becomes a game of who will blink first," said Ed Nakfoor, a retail consultant in Birmingham, Mich.
"You put it up; now I have to put it up."
Google said Internet searches looking for "Black Friday deals" or "holiday gift ideas" jumped 50 percent in the 30 days of September. The phrase "toys for Christmas" jumped 60 percent in the same month.
A trade group in Washington said retailers can expect a slight bump in sales from last year.
The International Council of Shopping Centers forecast a sales increase of 3 percent for the holidays this year compared with 2010.