Entries in Christmas Shopping (8)


Retailers Prepare for Super Saturday

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- Retailers are banking on last minute Christmas shoppers this weekend.  

Stores like Toys R Us and Macy’s are extending hours. Many retailers are also rolling out last minute deals.

Ryan Burrow from ABC News visited an olive oil specialty store in suburban Chicago and learned the retailer is overstaffing all weekend long and expecting some big crowds.

Some analysts predict this year’s Super Saturday sales could surpass Black Friday’s.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


6 Last-Second Holiday Deals

Sean Gallup/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Shoppers hoping to pick up last minute holiday gifts are still in luck.  Here is a list of some of the deals still available on Christmas Eve.

1. Old Navy $20 Groupon

Groupon is offering a $10 for $20 deal at U.S. Old Navy stores. The deal expires on Saturday at noon EST but can be used by Jan. 28. Shoppers can snag the deal as a holiday present by emailing or printing it for a gift recipient, if you can withstand the stigma of giving a coupon.

Otherwise, shoppers can use the deal to purchase a gift in-stores Old Navy stores, most of which close at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

You can't use the Groupon deal to purchase a gift card however.

If you don't have time to go to a store before it closes, you can still buy an electronic gift card. Gap Inc. sells an "Options Giftcard" to use at any of its brands: Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy,, and

2. Sweaters

Black said "there's a glut of sweaters in the marketplace," so expect deep discounts on traditional designs from retailers like Gap, Ann Taylor, and Ann Taylor Loft.

Unless you're a specialty retailer, like women's sportswear store Lululemon and lingerie seller Victoria's Secret, Black said shoppers should expect deep discounts on apparel.

"If it's not 40 percent off at least, shoppers may not pay attention," she said.

Whenever you buy something, ask a retailer if they will give you an adjustment. If you save a receipt, retailers may give you the price difference if the store makes additional markdowns after Christmas. Black said retailers like Nordstrom allow adjustments.

3. Barnes and Noble Printable Coupon

Dealnews said this 30 percent off coupon is "the largest general coupon" it has seen from bookseller Barnes & Noble this year. The coupon expires at the close of business on Saturday and excludes NOOK purchases and digital materials.

4. Nikon Coolpix L120 14MP 21x Zoom Digital Camera

This Nikon Coolpix camera is $199.99 with free in-store pickup but Dealnews points out you must place your order by 3 p.m. local time no later on Saturady for pickup before Christmas.

5. Dynex 32" 720p LED-Backlit Widescreen LCD HD Television

Also for $199.99, this flat-screen has similar time constraints if you want to pick it up before Christmas. Dealnews said the price has even dropped $50 from three weeks ago and is one of the least expensive LED-backlit 32" LCD TVs it has ever seen.

6. Nintendo 3DS Handheld Game System bundled with a $30 Gift Card

This bundle costs $169.99 with free in-store pickup and comes in black, red or blue. The 3DS features two screens - one 320x240 touchscreen and one normal 800x240 -- that display 3D visuals without the need for 3D glasses. It also features a 3D camera and 2GB SD memory card.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Experts: Boost in Holiday Shopping Indicates Increased Confidence

Tim Boyle/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- With only five days left before Christmas, holiday shoppers are flooding the malls and local stores.

Nearly half of shoppers have not finished their Christmas shopping yet, according to a National Retail Federation survey, and the traditional biggest shopping days -- Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Green Monday -- are all behind us.  The outlook seems to be that it's shaping to be a robust season for the economy.

Experts say this year consumers have the upper hand, as stores opened for extended hours and online vendors offered major discounts, some even with free shipping.

"The holiday season this year favors the consumer," Ellen Davis of the National Retail Federation told ABC News.  "Retailers have been very promotional, they know that the average shopper is still looking for a deal, spending on a budget, is very focused on small, discretionary items, basics and necessities."

On Thursday, the National Retail Federation revised its holiday sales forecast upwards from 2.8 percent -- which it had forecast in October -- to 3.8 percent, for a record $469.1 billion.  While this is still below the 5.2 percent for 2010, it's above average for the past decade, and holiday shopping isn't even over.

Experts say that despite the tough job market and the weak stock and house prices, Christmas is shaping up to be surprisingly strong for retailers.

"Households are spending with some gusto," said Mark Zandi, Chief Economist for Moody's Analytics.

Zandi told ABC News that increased confidence is helping both low and high income households finally start spending after long holding off.

"A solid Christmas buying season will set a very positive tone for the economy going into 2012," Zandi said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Holiday Spending: Over 40 Percent of Shoppers Will Buy Last-Minute

Sean Gallup/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Retail analysts say shoppers have set new records for spending this holiday season, but a new survey indicates almost half of all U.S. gift buyers have not yet begun to shop.

A survey by PriceGrabber finds 41 percent of consumers plan to shop between Dec. 21 and Dec. 24 for holiday gifts.

When those shoppers were asked why they wait until the last minute to buy gifts, 43 percent responded that they believe the best discounts can be found in the final days before Christmas.  Another 43 percent of respondents said they were too busy to get their shopping done any earlier.

Twenty-six percent of those polled blamed their gift-buying delay on procrastination, while 22 percent said they shop at the last minute because it’s fun.  Another 10 percent of survey respondents said they wait for a year-end bonus to begin shopping.

Most people complete their Christmas shopping before Christmas Day, but the PriceGrabber survey found 11 percent of men and eight percent of women admitting that they wait until January to buy holiday gifts.  The number one reason given for waiting until 2012 to buy gifts for Christmas 2011: better sale prices.  Sixty-eight percent of January Christmas shoppers cite that reason.

Another 27 percent say they wait until January to do their holiday shopping because they can do it with gift money they received in December.  Twenty-four percent said they simply prefer shopping in January, while 11 percent said they wait until the new year to use year-end bonuses from their jobs.

The PriceGrabber survey included responses from 13,472 shopping consumers.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Real Cost of 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' Shoots Up to Over $100K

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(PITTSBURGH) -- The dollar just doesn’t buy as many partridges in a pear tree and swans-a-swimming as it once did.

An annual pricing survey of every item listed in the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” finds the price of 12 partridges in a pear tree in 2011 is $184.99 -- up 14.2 percent from last year.  The cost of seven swimming swans jumped 12.5 percent over last year to $6,300.  Both increases helped push the total cost of all items mentioned in the tune over the $100,000 mark for the first time.

The annual Christmas Price Index compiled by PNC Wealth Management shows the 364 items repeated in all the song's verses would cost $101,119, an increase of 4.4 percent over last year.  That would buy you 12 drummers drumming, 22 pipers piping, 30 lords-a-leaping, 36 ladies dancing, 40 maids-a-milking, 42 swans-a-swimming, 42 geese-a-laying, 40 gold rings, 36 calling birds, 30 French hens, 22 turtle doves, and 12 partridges in pear trees.

Buying just one set of each verse in the “The Twelve Days of Christmas” will cost you $24,263 this season, a 3.5-percent rise over 2010.  That’s the price you will pay in stores.  Online, one set of each verse will cost $39,860, a 16.1-percent increase over Internet prices in 2010.

The cost of French hens, calling birds, maids-a-milking, ladies dancing and lords-a-leaping didn’t go up this year.  Five gold rings actually dropped a bit in price to $645 from $650 last year.  The price of pipers piping and drummers drumming increased just three percent over last year.  The price of eight maids-a-milking at minimum wage was $58, the same as in 2009.

The annual Christmas Price Index is based on a survey of jewelry stores, dance companies, pet stores and other sources.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Walmart to Offer Layaway Option this Holiday Season

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images(BENTONVILLE, Ark.) -- Walmart announced that it will offer a holiday layaway program for two of the season’s most popular gift categories: electronics and toys. This program is set to kick off on Oct. 17 and run through Dec. 16.

Customers have long expressed their desire for the service, and the company finally announced the news to its nearly 9 million Facebook Fans on Thursday.

The program is will enable customers to make payments when they want and for how much they want on the most popular gifts. Both toy and electronic items with a retail price of $15 or more will be eligible for the program. Customers must also have a total minimum layaway purchase of $50, make a 10 percent down payment on the total purchase, and pay a one-time non-refundable $5 service fee.

Layaway payments can be made at any register and picking up these orders can be done at the counter in the majority of the stores.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Holiday Shopping Hope: Retail Sales Up

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- With Christmas just days away, it seems Americans are opening their wallets and spending again.

The Saturday before Christmas, known as "Super Saturday" was the second-biggest shopping day so far this year, according to new data from Shoppertrak.  Sales for Saturday were up 15 percent from last year and consumers are spending a $1 billion more.

"It's clearly a different move than what we saw last year.  There's more energy, it's more exciting, the consumers are certainly more interested in participating in the event," said Bill Martin with Shoppertrak.

The good news for retailers is that they don't have to entice shoppers with extreme discounts as they did in the last two holiday seasons.

"What's happening now is what's left in the store, it's the type of things they want to move.  And they believe they can move them with a not as deep a discount as they had last year," said Martin.

The days leading up to Christmas are crucial as stores try to empty their shelves.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


‘Anti-Christmas’ Retailer Gives Up on ‘Holidays?’

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(NEW YORK) – Under pressure from other retailers and various organizations, Dick’s Sporting Goods has given up on its use of the phrase “holidays” in place of “Christmas,” according to

The retailer, which had opted to embrace the spirit of the “holiday” season as opposed to “Christmas” when considering its advertising schemes, was put under pressure to change after the American Family Association encouraged all of its 2.3 million supporters to shun the sporting goods retailer.
"In our research of the Top 100 retailers in America, Dick's advertising is likely the most 'anti-Christmas' of all," read the alert sent out to AFA supporters.

"Sure, Dick's wants you to buy their products, but no retailer in the nation has appeared to go out of its way to snub 'Christmas' more than Dick's."

Dick’s was quick to respond to the AFA with a statement that said that changes to their marketing strategy were underway and that “Christmas” would become a major part of their advertising campaign by Nov. 28.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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