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Retailers slash prices in hope of big profits

Posted December 23, 2008
Updated March 9, 2009

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— The Dow's drop in the past few months appears to have dragged holiday shopping down with it, according to a national sales-monitoring group.

Total retail sales are down nearly 10 percent, compared with this time last year, and before the season is over, they are expected to drop nearly 12 percent, according to ShopperTrak, which monitors retail activity across the United States.

Last minute shoppers search for gifts Last minute shoppers search for gifts

Foot traffic inside retail stores is down about 18 percent. Some retail analysts say the season could be the toughest in almost 20 years.

That has led local retailers and malls to drop their prices and offer big sales and extended shopping hours to try to salvage what has traditionally been the biggest shopping season of the year.

The International Council of Shopping Centers says 40 percent of gift-buying isn't done yet.

Retails stores at Crabtree Valley Mall, for example, are cutting prices by up to 70 percent, and others are trying to lure customers with buy-one-get-one-free offers.

"I think every store is pretty much saying they're having a sale," shopper Keyotta Sanford said. "There's sales like everywhere."

As some retail stores struggle, however, a recent retail survey shows that discount chains, such as Wal-Mart and Family Dollar, have seen a 10 percent increase in sales because people are turning to smaller gifts and lower price points.

Wal-Mart's sales were up 6.5 percent in November; Family Dollar's sales were up 2.1 percent.


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  • clickclackity2 Dec 23, 2008

    I've only seen about 3 stores that genuinely had deep discounts. And so far, I've been to Concord Mills, Smithfield outlets and Crabtree. Crabtree was by far the worse for sales. The bottomline is that there are alot of people in the stores and at the malls but mainly just for the spirit of the season. I find it quite insulting that these retailers are actually jacking up prices and then only offering 30% off! At Wilsons Leather Outlet in Smithfield, they had jackets with $79.95 prices above them, but when you got to the register, they rang up as $179.95! The staff was totally incompetent about the situation, but I will be reporting the store, even though I wasn't one of the 3 customers that they tried this tactic with.

  • kbo0801 Dec 23, 2008

    Well I would like to buy more. I have been out of work due to a sick child and I did not get to donate to toys for tots in the past two years. I barely have enough for my own tot. I hope that next year is better.

  • TheAdmiral Dec 23, 2008

    I just got back from Cary Towne and the Farmers Market. There was more being puchased at the farmers market than at Cary Towne. In fact, there were people returning items than they were buying.

    I doubt that I saw a bill of over $20 being traded today. People were not purchasing even the 70% off stuff.

    Retailers only have until tommorow and Kapow - guaranteed to have a blowout sale.

  • Funky Neighbor LEE Dec 23, 2008

    I just left Crabtree. The only one thing I saw that I would have bought they didn't have in my size. Oh well, guess I'll spend it on beer.

  • iamyeary Dec 23, 2008

    I just got my mail. There was a white-handwritten envelope to me with a stamp on it. No return address. I opened it up. It was a full page newspaper advertisement for a car dealership in the Triangle. ( I won't give them any free advertising here in this blog post ). To continue, there was a yellow sticky note on the newspaper ad that said my name, as well as, Check this out! Wow! signed by J. (fictional person). LOL. I just put it in my recycle box....End of story.

  • Eduardo1 Dec 23, 2008

    Well.The posters so far on this one, are on the MARK! We are buying when we want to buy. Retailers have jacked up prices, and then give of various percentages. I am a senior and I have seen this tactic most of my adult life. We see the same thing on non-ending auto dealership commercials. The only semi-truth to all of these discount offers is if you were sucker enough to pay the full mark-up price for items. For example: Monday we bought the same gift at a store in Cary-town reg $35 discount $9 20% off. We paid We paid $29 total for all 4 items. What does this prove, if we bought them before the sale, we would have been raped at the register, paying $140+tax You know that that retailers and auto dealers are making big profits on original price, how else can they keep TV ads & print media & other types of advertising going.Do you remember the crazy sold out ADS for the super bowl.Try to count how many minutes of programming and how many of ADS on any TV program. SALES-bah-humbug

  • Hank Dec 23, 2008

    I agree madbiker--I was at Crabtree two weeks ago and Cary Towne Center this past week...they were packed!
    i couldnt even find a space to park at Crabtree.

  • seeingthru Dec 23, 2008


  • jointheir Dec 23, 2008

    what group is referenced here?? The Association of Retailers who want more $$$$?
    I have never seen so many people buying... It is amazing. yet there is a "recession"???

  • HappyGirl08 Dec 23, 2008

    Well, I have been shopping this holiday season so I should think the economy would be in tip top shape! I guess the problem is that I paid my bills off in full and didn't let the banks earn any interest off only paying minimum payments. Darn! Oh well...I tried.