This holiday season will, no doubt, be unlike any other thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. So The National Retail Federation has launched a nationwide consumer education campaign called "New Holiday Traditions" to encourage consumers to shop safe and early amidst the pandemic.

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NRF Senior Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs Bill Thorne said there's stress during the holidays and there's even more stress with what's going on in the world. He said one way to eliminate that stress is to get the shopping done early.

Retailers understand this concept so they are offering the best deals ever. These are the deals that they would normally offer at Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Super Saturday and Cyber Monday but they are offering these deals right now.

Shopping safely is also important.

Thorne said as a country, we don't know what's going to happen with these COVID-19 spikes. Retailers are prepared for the early start to the shopping season not only by offering discounts but ensuring customers they can find the gifts they want at the price they want to pay and delivered at a time they want to receive them.

Retailers are being creative as they create the seamless experience of in-store online, ensuring people have the way they want to shop presented in a way that makes sense to them.

Thorne believes there is a Black Friday this year and that there will always be a Black Friday.

"But does it have the same import that it did at one point in time? I don't think so because the sales season has lengthened for the holidays and you're finding these discounts being offered earlier and earlier, not because the retailers want to offer them but because the consumer expects them," said Thorne.

As far as online shopping goes, Thorne said there has been more online shopping in the past seven months than normally seen in any other year.