A growing number of national retailers aim to grab more sales by kicking off the holiday shopping season on Thanksgiving instead of waiting for Black Friday. Consumers are getting an even earlier start, with 50% starting their shopping in early October, according to an NRF survey, but experts say earlier shopping doesn't necessarily translate to higher spending. "You don't have more relatives, and you certainly don't have more money in your pocket because stores are open more hours," NPD Group's Marshal Cohen said.

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