Retailers Chase Post-Holiday Sales
Some shoppers were finishing their own Christmas shopping.
"You get good bargains," said Gloria Mendez of New York City, who left a Filene's Basement store in Manhattan with two loaded bags.
James Johnson, a driver for FedEx Corp., bought a last-minute gift at a Wal-Mart store in Bowie, Md.
"I just didn't have time before Christmas. I was too busy working," Johnson said.
Some shoppers were able to nab the season's hottest gifts, which have been in scarce supply.
Kimberlee Wiley of New Bedford, Mass., went hunting a $300 iPod digital music player Monday at the local Filene's department store, using all the gift cards she received for Christmas. She discovered they were sold out, and later bought the player online.
While this week should be busy for retailers, Cohen of NPD expects that retailers will wind up with a modest sales increase of a little more than 3 percent for the November-December period.
The estimate is based on same-store sales, which are sales at stores opened at least a year.
Michael P. Niemira expects that 20 percent of gift card holders will redeem their cards this week. According to a survey conducted by Accenture, 44 percent of shoppers polled said they spend their gift card within a month of receiving it. And more than half said they will spend more than the value of the card.
Karen MacDonald, a spokeswoman at Taubman Centers Inc., which operates or owns 23 malls in 11 states, reported that 25 percent of those redeeming gift cards on Monday were spending over the value of the card.
According to ShopperTrak RCT Corp., the week after Christmas accounted for 10 percent of holiday sales last year, but analysts expect that period could account for as much as 14 percent this year, given gift cards' soaring popularity.
The National Retail Federation estimates that consumers will spend $18.48 billion on gift cards, this holiday season, up 6.6 percent from a year ago, based on a survey conducted by BIGresearch. But plenty of malls and stores are seeing far larger increases.
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