Shoppers, retailers stand-off for deals

A shopper carries a bag advertising a sale.

TEXT OF STORY

Doug Krizner: No time for a Halloween hangover. America's retailers are on to the next holiday. Today, Wal-Mart will be among those offering the kind of deep discounts normally reserved for the day after Thanksgiving. Sarah Gardner reports.


Sarah Gardner: The holiday shopping season can be a game of chicken. Shoppers holding off, gambling that retailers will cave and slash prices. Retailers holding firm, betting that shoppers will surrender first.

Retail expert Britt Beemer predicts many shoppers will turn out for "early bird" specials -- but mostly for pricier goods, like big screen TV's.

All the other stuff? He says shoppers will hang back.

Britt Beemer: Consumers really do believe that the closer they get to Christmas, they get better deals overall.

Scott Hoyt at Economy.com says retailers are likely bracing for stingier shoppers. That means keeping inventory very tight, so they won't get stuck with unsold merchandise. Hoyt says under that scenario, the last-minute crowd risks missing out.

Scott Hoyt: I's very hard to predict how successful a gamble it's gonna be.

So, this day after Halloween, let the holiday shopping begin. Including that game of chicken between shoppers and retailers.

I'm Sarah Gardner for Marketplace.

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