Holiday discounts could be best in years - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Holiday discounts could be best in years

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It's not even Halloween yet, but retailers are getting a head start on the holiday shopping season. They are already trying to lure in consumers with a number of deals.  Because of that reason, it could be the best season of discounts in years. 

Target announced it's matching the online prices of its competitors. Best Buy and Toys R Us have also said they're matching online prices, too.  Toys R Us is even launching its own iPad competitor for kids called the Tabeo.  Also, layaway deals are already bringing in more customers at K-mart, Toys-R-Us and Wal-Mart in the past month.

Why the mad rush to offer incentives for holiday shoppers even before Halloween this year?  Store owners don't want to be caught flat footed like last year, when Americans turned up in throngs on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.  But then, shoppers stayed away for days, only to return for big door buster deals.  Retailers are also wary that the slow economic recovery and high gas prices will make Americans less willing to open their wallets freely this holiday season.

The National Retail Federation predicts holiday sales will rise by 4.1%, which is slower than the 5.6% increase last year. Even gift giving among the wealthiest Americans is expected to decrease 3.4% this year, a study from American Express Publishing and the Harrison Group showed.

 

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