Retailers start holiday deals early - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Retailers start holiday deals early

Posted: Updated:

Rich Van Wyk/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - Shoppers put a little life back into the retail industry last month. Sales posted their first increase more than a year. The numbers are important because consumer spending accounts for nearly two-thirds of the nation's economic activity.

It's only a one-tenth of a one-percent increase, but the numbers have shoppers thinking about Christmas whether they want to or not.

Retailers are starting the holiday season earlier and are going after shoppers more aggressively.

"They are not going to be waiting until the end of December to be taking mark downs. You are going to be seeing promotional pricing earlier in the season," said Prof. Kate King, Butler University College of Business.

Walmart promises shoppers 100 toys for $10. Target is promoting $10 deals too.

Pricey electronic gaming systems that buyers once stood in line for are already discounted to sale prices.

"Retailers are ready. They have prepared. They know this is going to be a tough holiday," said King.

It's been a tough year. Unemployment is hovering near 10 percent. Banks are cutting limits on credit cards and shoppers are in the mood to save rather than spend.

Although Stephanie Jackson loves gift giving, she said, "My income is fluctuating. It is not as stable as it used to be. I don't have the income I used to."

The National Retail Federation predicts holiday sales will slip again this year by one percent on top of last year's near 3.5-percent drop.

Along with lower prices, shoppers should expect smaller inventories and fewer last-minute deals. Those who wait too long may not find what they are looking for.

Not all retailers increased sales. Many saw sales fall again in September, but not by nearly as much as they had expected.

Powered by WorldNow