Stores offer deeper discounts after the holidays
Stores offer big sales after Dec. 25 to keep consumers in the shopping spirit. (Getty)
By Marlene Naanes
and Keiko Morris
New Yorkers will reap the benefits Friday of retailers last-ditch effort to come back after a dismal holiday shopping season, slashing prices up to 75 percent in day-after-Christmas sales.
Stores including Macys and Bed Bath & Beyond are offering between 50 to 75 percent off, with coupons delivering deeper savings. Yet even with additional incentives this year, the same economic crisis that spurred the discounts is also holding back even the most serious bargain hunters.
I plan to look for the 70 to 80 percent off the real deals, said Cassandra Sykes, 53, of Union Square. [You should] only take it if you need it because of the things you are going through right now.Dec. 26 has become more than a day for consumers to return unwanted gifts, with many stores opening early and offering door-buster specials.
They are going to have a lot of inventory to sell, said Britt Beemer, chairman of Americas Research Group, a market research firm. When you are already at 60 and 70 percent off, how low can you go?
Bad weather dashed retailers hopes of salvaging the season last weekend with the lowest number of shoppers 38.7 percent surveyed in six years, according to the Americas Research Group/UBS 2008 Christmas survey.
Even people who were able to go Christmas shopping are not tempted to do post-holiday spending with so much economic uncertainty.
You dont want to go crazy on one day when you dont know what the next week is going to bring, said Leon Vincent, 27, of the Upper West Side.
This year, 51.5 percent said they bought a gift card, compared with 57.6 percent last year and 66.8 percent in 2006, so retailers have to be more aggressive, Beemer said.
Some New Yorkers who received gift cards say they will go out and spend it, but they wont go overboard regardless of the deals.
Im not that hardcore, said Julia Smith, 29, of the Upper West Side. I will probably go shopping but only because I received some gift cards. Wherever my day takes me, Ill just go out looking around.
Keiko Morris is a Newsday staff writer.
Got a gift card for the holidays? Heres what you should know:
Find out whether there are expiration dates or activation, maintenance, inactivity and transaction fees tacked onto the cards.
Spend your card, dont save it. Since retailers cant count a gift card until it is redeemed, stores will entice consumers by holding special sales after Christmas and stocking shelves with new merchandise in January.
Keep your receipt. Some retailers are able to reissue a lost gift card if consumers have kept the original purchase receipt.
Many retailers allow recipients to register cards online, which enables customers to check their balance and report lost cards.
(National Retail Federation)
Post-Christmas shopping tips
Make a shopping list and know exactly what you want to buy.
Shop early, especially if there is something you really want. Stores get busy around 11 a.m. and shopping traffic is heavy throughout the day.
If you are returning a gift, bring your gift receipt. Many stores are making it difficult to return items without receipts.
If you are returning something without a receipt, be thankful for store credit.
Accept that everything will take longer than usual. Even if the retailer is discouraging returns, people will attempt to take back items without receipts. Also, some stores are understaffed, adding to delays.
Be polite. No one wants to listen to a screamer.
(Britt Beemer, chairman and founder of Americas Research Group, a market research firm)