Archive for Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Bargain-hunters aren’t done shopping

December 27, 2006

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Christmas Day has come and gone, but the shopping season continues.

Consumers are shopping for bargains, a better fit or a better gift in the coming days. Last year, the International Council of Shopping Centers concluded that more than 15 percent of holiday shopping was done during the last week of December.

"That's when you first see redemption of gift cards, returns, exchanges and you also see some additional clearance items on seasonal-based items," said Patrice Duker, a council spokesman. "There are bigger markdowns then."

Gift cards also keep cashiers ringing after Christmas. Last year, U.S. shoppers spent more than $18 billion on them, which grow more popular with each year.

"It's a pretty big week, and the gift cards drive that, especially with electronics and small appliances," said Samantha Poole, manager at Target in Edwardsville, Ill. "I know we're looking for gift card redemption. That's always huge."

With holiday retail sales forecast to jump by $24.6 billion, ComScore Networks retail analyst Michael Rubin said sales for the period will be 25 percent higher than a year ago, and online sales will break the $100 billion barrier for first time.

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