Friday, December 19, 2008

What if they sold a holiday and nobody bought?

It finally happened. They've discounted Christmas to the point where the retailers are praying for breakeven and consumers still aren't buying with both hands. Of course, part of the problem is that one hand is busy just keeping the shirts on their backs.

I'll be out in the malls this weekend again, checking the discounts. One of the concerns that I'm hearing is a dirth of gift card sales. I'm sure part of the reason for this is that you have to pay full price for gift cards... when you can get full 'gift credit' with your friends and family for a sweater bought at 70% off.

The rise of gift cards has helped to extened the holiday shopping season through January as folks redeem them for heavily discounted or new season merchandise. The worry now being floated is that a drop in gift card purchases will cause the holiday shopping season to end December 24th at 7pm. The stuff left after the last elf packs up Santa's bag on Christmas Eve will sell... but I have a feeling I'll see pricing on December 26th like I've never seen before.

Money saving tip of the day? Have your holiday gathering with extended family on December 27th... and do your shopping the day after Christmas.

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