Retailers are looking beyond Christmas

Jenny Sotomayor pushes her son Zachary Sotomayor in a shopping cart at a Target store in Miami, Fla.

TEXT OF STORY

Tess Vigeland: Looks like the top half of the country will be getting a White Christmas this year. Storms are expected throughout the Pacific Northwest, Midwest and Northeast. Could be fun for skiers and other snow dogs. But it's one big lump of white coal for retailers. This is supposed to be the biggest shopping weekend of the year. And it's not like sales prices could go any lower. Or could they? Marketplace's Jeremy Hobson has that story from New York.


Jeremy Hobson: The other day, I got a letter from Crate and Barrel. It says I can get quote ridiculous 60 percent savings starting the day after Christmas. Seems like an odd strategy ? don't they want me in the stores now?

Patricia Edwards: What they are anticipating is that they're going to have more merchandise left on the shelves than they even wanted.

That's retail analyst Patricia Edwards at Storehouse Partners. She says the sales are going to get even better as stores try to make room for new merchandise.

Edwards: They're going to have to discount just to move it. The sales after Christmas this year I think are going to be bigger than I have seen in my 20 plus year career.

Some shoppers are onto this.

Celina Curry: Oh definitely. That's a factor.

Celina Curry spent the morning bargain hunting in downtown Los Angeles.

Curry: Yeah I think the later the better. Cause the sales are betters, you get better deals. And you get the extra 20 percent off with the 40 percent off so it's cool.

All these sales may get shoppers in the doors. But Patricia Edwards says they're not buying gift cards because they're not on sale.

Edwards: If people don't have the gift cards, they're going to be less likely to go out to the malls and I think that it could lead to some more pain when we get to January and February.

Which means this bleak shopping season may be felt long after the holiday decorations come down.

In New York, I'm Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

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