Big opening weekend for holiday retail

Marketplace Staff Nov 27, 2006

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: Did ya do it? Did ya get up early and shop, shop, shop? We just got some numbers on the first weekend of the holiday retail season. Here’s Alisa Roth:


ALISA ROTH: This year, fewer people spent their holiday weekend shopping, but those who did hit the stores made up for it, spending nearly 20 percent more than they did last year.

And those shoppers did get some good deals. It used to be rare to find discounts before Christmas. Now it’s pretty much standard practice for stores to engage in pre-Christmas price wars, where consumers are the big winners.

Marshal Cohen is a retail analyst with the NPD Group.

MARSHAL COHEN: This has become the time when the consumer clearly knows that the retailer is going to discount. So if you want to even be in the game, you have to be in the discount game.

Cohen says that doesn’t mean everything in the store is on sale. The strategy is to cut prices on a few big things, just to get shoppers in the door. Once inside, the hope is they’ll buy more.

In New York, I’m Alisa Roth for Marketplace.

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