(NEW YORK) -- If the bargains were less than stellar on the day after Christmas, retailers may offer deeper post-Christmas discounts this weekend to lure shoppers after a strong start to the holiday shopping season.
Britt Beemer, chairman and founder of America's Research Group, which analyzes the retail industry, downplayed the significance of the day after Christmas, or "Mega Monday," as some media stories and retailers have coined it.
Though many Americans had the day off as a federal holiday, even more could have a free day this coming Saturday, "the day when everybody's home," according to Beemer. He predicts more traffic and bigger discounts this weekend. "I think there is a lot out there that can happen, but if consumers don't get the deals they want it will be a whole other issue," he said.
Last year, Beemer said, consumers wanted big discounts but retailers did not offer them until January. If that happens again this year, deeper discounts could take place during January's clearance sales.
Bill Stone, PNC Asset Management Group's chief investment strategist, said consumer consumption has been an integral part of the U.S. economic recovery since the recession began three years ago.
"We've seen some lift in consumer sentiment, but the after-Christmas period is another important signpost to the mood and health of the consumer," Stone said.
The day after Christmas is usually the second-highest for retailers' revenue, with as much as $8 billion being spent in one day, according to ShopperTrak, which is predicting traffic could increase as much as 60 percent compared with last year, the Indianapolis Star reports.
With gift cards being a large part of holiday giving, this period becomes an even larger retailer focus, Stone said. Beemer claims consumers are most likely going to spend more than the amount on their gift cards. "A lot of those out there are between $20 and $30 and I suspect they get used up probably for a $40 or $45 purchase," he said.
Beemer explains returning purchases or gifts can also work in the favor of retailers if stores have favorable customer service and return policies. "When people return something, there's a 70 percent chance they'll buy something else. That's with the assumption that when they've got this money they'll see something else they like and the retailer will have a sale."
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