Entries in Hoilday Shopping (2)


Consumers Appear More Cautious this Holiday Shopping Season

Sean Gallup/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Consumer confidence has gone up in recent weeks, but shoppers appear to be in no mood to splurge.  A new survey finds most Americans do not plan to spend more on holiday gifts than they did last year.

Retailers are cautiously optimistic about the coming holiday shopping season.

"Most shoppers feel that the worst is over," says Ellen Davis of the National Retail Federation.  "They made it through the recession.  Many of them spent several years paying down debt or putting money into savings."

But there are plenty of headwinds this fall that could hold back consumer spending.

"Everything from political attack ads to news about the fiscal cliff to gas prices that still can’t seem to stabilize are giving some consumers reason for caution," explains Davis.

That may make layaway plans more popular this year than at any time in the recent past.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Super Saturday: Retailers Slash Prices a Week Early

Sean Gallup/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Retailers rolled out their best deals Saturday, a week earlier than tradition dictates, in the hopes that shoppers would flock to their stores to take advantage of deep discounts on popular items such as toys, jewelry and clothing.

The final Saturday before Christmas, known as “Super Saturday,” when frenzied last-minute shoppers hit the stores, falls on Christmas Eve this year, so many retailers used the scheduling snafu to their advantage and rolled out their best deals a week earlier.

“Next Saturday people will be traveling to go home with their families,” Dana Telsey, CEO at Telsey Advisory Group, a consumer-focused brokerage firm, told ABC News. “Also, next Saturday a lot of the good deals that you had—it’ll still be there but the quantities of merchandise may not be left.”

The National Retail Federation found in a Dec. 14 survey that the average shopper has only completed 46.5 percent of their shopping. Big box stores hoped that shoppers would finally cross everything off of their Christmas lists on Saturday.

“Some of them are offering 20 percent, 30 percent or 40 percent for a limited time,” Telsey said. “We think it’s going to be the busiest shopping day of the year.”

J.C. Penney offered 60 percent off toys, coats and luggage. Walmart slashed its prices to the lowest of the season on popular items for children, such as toys and bicycles. At Sears, shoppers received free diamond earrings when they spent $199 or more on jewelry.

And this holiday shopping season, the stakes are even higher, when you consider more customers than ever have buyer’s remorse.

For every dollar stores take in this holiday season, they’ll have to give back 9.9 cents in returns, according to the National Retail Federation — nearly three cents less than they would be in better economic times.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio