Stores offer big sales to make up for slow Christmas season - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Stores offer big sales to make up for slow Christmas season

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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Stores are gearing up for the second wave of holiday shopping. This round is the post Christmas rush. Retailers are offering eye popping discounts trying to lure people in. And if you thought the malls were busy before Christmas, just wait until the following weekend.

"We do expect Saturday or Sunday of this week to produce a lot of shopper seeking value," said Bill Martin, founder, of ShopperTrak, which analyzes retail shopper traffic.

Marin said disappointing holiday sales left retailers scrambling to clear out inventory. Aeropostale is offering 70 percent off. Abercrombie and Fitch's entire store is 50 percent off. So is Banana Republic and the Gap.

Others, like Old Navy, are offering more off to shop in store, than online as stores prepare for their Spring lines to come in.

"We absolutely do expect to see deeper sales and deeper discounts," Martin said. "In fact we are already seeing some of it where we are hearing of 60, 70 and 75 percent off. And the real motivation there is to try and make sure they are clearing their shelves. Last year the ended the year with a lot of inventory in hand and they would really like not to do that this year."

Gift cards are also driving down prices. Retailers hope to lure shoppers to spend the ones they got for Christmas, before the end of the year so they can count them in 2013 profits.

A year that may end with disappointment for stores, even if these eye popping after Christmas sales generate the last ditch shopping rush retailers are hoping for.

"When you start seeing discounts that go beyond 30 or 40 percent, you know that that's a sign of pressure on the sales number," Martin said. "And even if they are generating more traffic as a result of the deep discounts, it's hard to drive that revenue number up and maintain the margin."

Martin said holiday sales are actually up slightly this year compared to last just not as much as retailers forecast. ShopperTrak predicts we will set a record this year for holiday sales.

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