Retailers kick off holiday shopping season on Nov. 1

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DENVER -- Your Halloween decorations are probably still hanging up around the house, but that isn't stopping some retailers from launching Black Friday today on a Saturday.

This kickoff to the holiday shopping season is nearly four weeks sooner than the traditional start the day after Thanksgiving.

The calendar says Saturday, November 1.

But it's officially Black Friday today for retailers like Walmart, Office Depot, Office Max and Amazon.

But experts say buyer beware.

"I actually like Black Friday," says self-professed Black Friday aficionado, Stacey Klocker, as she unloads her Walmart purchases outside the store in Stapleton Saturday.

But she doesn’t have a single Black Friday find -- even though the world's largest retailer kicked off its holiday shopping season.

"We saw the Halloween stuff on sale," she says. But she didn’t see any holiday deals.

"I did not hear anything about them having Black Friday," she says.

But she's okay with that.

"I think that's a little too early. I really do," she says.

Walmart launched more than 20,000 rollbacks or reduced price items. That's double what they typically have during the rest of the year.

"I don`t really like that. I think it should be closer to the holidays," says Cathleen Milne, of Loveland, and a shopper at Cherry Creek Mall.

There, you won't find an early appearance of Black Friday. But signs of Christmas are all around.

"We officially open the holiday season at the shopping center. And for us, that official date is next Thursday, the 6th, where we welcome Santa into the center," says Dave Dixon, the mall’s spokesperson.

"It's earlier and earlier every year," says Metro State University of Denver Marketing Professor Darrin Duber-Smith.

He says expect to see  even more retailers move up the usual holiday shopping kickoff.

"Certain retailers (like Walmart) step out and lead the way, while others say, 'Oh gosh. We gotta come too,'” he says.

But don't expect that to always mean deep discounts.

"The vast majority of the stuff we buy is cheaper during the year. So we are not getting the deals we think we are getting. We're getting deals on certain goods, that are very limited in supply," he says.

Today, Amazon is increasing the number of its lightning deals, which are products that go on sale for just a limited time each day.

The National Retail Federation is expecting a growth of just over 4-percent in sales this November and December--that's higher than last year's 3-percent increase.