SACRAMENTO - This holiday shopping season is more like a game of chicken. More consumers are holding out until the last minute to make bigger purchases because they want bigger discounts, similar to what was offered on Black Friday, and there are plenty of retailers giving in.
Toys R Us is just one of several retailers to extend store hours due to the last-minute shopping rush. They've been open non-stop since Saturday morning and that will continue until 9 p.m. Christmas Eve. And even with that, there may be a many consumers who are just going to wait until after Christmas to make purchases so they can score even better deals.
Early indications on this year's shopping rush seem toshow that at least for brick and mortar retailers, all the "bargains" have not generated the hoped-for revenue.
RetailNext, which studies shopping numbers, looked at 450 stores nationwide and found that traffic dropped by about 7 percent Friday and Saturday, which were considered to be two of the biggest shopping days of the year.
Many consumers have said their budgets are tight and now, retailers are responding by dropping prices. Other consumers who are willing to spend more are seeing this trend, so they're waiting for discounts of 60 to 70 percent before making their purchases, even if that means waiting up until the last minute or even after Christmas.
Some retailers are already slashing prices equivalent to what was seen on Black Friday. Abercrombie and Fitch has discounts of 50 percent, and Express, Gap, and Banana Republic have discounts anywhere from 30 to 40 percent. Analysts are saying this is the week when retailers could lose confidence in sales projections and hit the "panic button" by offering deeper-than-planned promos.
So how much of a procrastinator are you? A new survey shows nearly a quarter of travelers who find themselves in a gift-buying pinch for Christmas are likely to buy a gift at the airport.
Analysts say convenience is a big factor, but so, too, is the variety of goods now being offered at some of the nicer airports around the country.