Tell us about your experiences with Marketplace. Enter To Win

Deep holiday discounts persist

Mitchell Hartman Dec 23, 2011

Adriene Hill: As Jill just told us consumer spending and income were up ever so slightly in November. In the pre-holiday rush, retailers are scrambling to grab as much of that cash as they can.

Marketplace’s Mitchell Hartman reports.

Mitchell Hartman: In spite of the traffic and crowds, and last-minute mall-raging list-completers, it might actually be a good time to hit the stores right now.

That’s because all the deep discounting that kicked off the holiday retail season over Thanksgiving hasn’t really gone away. In fact, many retailers have been sweetening their offers in the last few days before Christmas.

Sucharita Mulpuru at Forrester Research says there’s one last chance for retailers.

Sucharita Mulpuru: Anywhere from 10 percent to 15 percent of the holiday shopping revenue actually happens after Christmas, because people do kind of wait for the sales, and they’re with their families, and the mall is a place to go, and stores are trying to clear out their inventory so they can make room for next season.

But what’s good for consumers could be bad for business. It may turn out that retailers simply stocked too much merchandise for the holidays. And selling so much of it at rock-bottom prices could hurt their bottom lines.

I’m Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.