SOUTH WILLIAMSON, Ky. - Bargain-hungry Americans will need to go on a post-Christmas spending binge to salvage this holiday shopping season.
Despite the huge discounts and other incentives that stores offered leading up to Christmas, U.S. holiday sales so far this year have been the weakest since 2008, when the nation was in a deep recession. With this fact in mind, stores now are depending on the days that fill the week after Christmas to make up lost ground. In the past, the final week of December can account for about 15 percent of the month’s sales, and the day after Christmas is typically one of the biggest shopping days of the year.
Stores, which don’t typically talk about their plans for sales and other promotions during the season, are known for offering discounts of up to 70 percent after the holiday. This year, they’re hoping to lure more bargain hunters who held off for the best deals of the year, second only to those on Black Friday.
Locally, the South Williamson Walmart Supercenter continued the long-standing tradition of slashing prices of holiday decorations by a minimum of a 50 percent margin, as well as special gift items such as perfume, lotions, etc. For many shoppers, this is a highly anticipated event that allows for tremendous savings.
“I always buy all of my wrapping paper, bows, gift bags and other items after Christmas and put them back for next year,” stated Nellie Walters of Kermit, who was scoping out deals inside Walmart. “I’m also on the lookout for a new Christmas tree, mine has served its purpose for many years and it’s time for a replacement.”
The popular LED Christmas lights seemed to be one of the items that were selling out quickly, and Walters had 8 sets of them in her shopping cart.
“I wanted to buy these for my tree and the outside of my door this year but they’re pretty expensive, quite a bit higher than what the regular lights are priced, so I decided to wait for the after Christmas sale and I’ll use them next year,” Walters explained.
Walters also had several gift packs that contained perfume and men’s cologne, saying they were a really good deal when you could get them at 50 percent off and stated that she had several family members with birthdays in the next couple of months, and was going to put the items away until they were needed.
“Money is too hard to come by these days, my husband passed away a few years ago and what I live on isn’t a lot, and I have learned the hard way to be a smart shopper,” remarked the Kermit resident. “I figure those dollars still in my pocket that I saved today will come in use when my bills are due again.”
Numerous department stores throughout the Tri-State area have dropped their prices following the 2012 Christmas season, and even greater savings are expected after the first of January as the clearance racks increase to make room for new spring and summer merchandise.