There's no need to panic for either shoppers or retailers. Most shoppers want to bide their tie and mull over what discounts retailers offer before whipping out their credit cards or cash.
Must Read: 4 Stocks Warren Buffett Is Selling in 2014
"Many consumers are going to wait and see how great the promotions will be later this season before making any commitments," says Matthew Shay, chief executive at the NRF. "Retailers have reacted to this 'wait and see' mentality with fewer October deals and a much quieter entry into November, when we'll start to see retailers ramp up with offers."
Maybe there's a silver lining with a modest delay in holiday shopping -- one consumers may not be thinking about, but should be: identity theft.