Kmart faces heat over early Christmas ad; analyst says early-holiday trend is likely here to stay

Retail giant Kmart is facing heat from shoppers for running Christmas ads more than 100 days before the holiday.

"I do not want to see Christmas ads when it is still SUMMER," wrote a customer on Kmart's Facebook page. "I will not be shopping at Kmart this year due to your advertising this early, I don't care what the reason."

The controversial ad promotes a new "free layaway" service. Kmart says it's targeted at shoppers who like to plan ahead. Their critics say it's all about greed.

 "Just in case anyone wonders why I turned into the Grinch every year," wrote another Facebook poster. "Kmart gas Xmas ornaments on display already. C'mon people, one whorliday at a time if you please. It's waaaaay too early to start up the Xmas coma shopping!"

Kmart isn't the only offender, though. Walmart will be offering free layaway from Sept. 13 – Dec. 13. And last year, Target's first holiday ad ran on Oct. 7.

Retail analyst Jan Kniffen told ABC News  that, unpopular or not, the early-holiday trend is likely here to stay.

"The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the shortest it can ever be on retail selling days. [Retailers] have to start earlier," Kniffen said.

Research shows the strategy may be working: more than 40 percent of holiday shopping occurs before Halloween, according to the National Retail Federation.

Check out shoppers' reactions on social media below: