Huge markdowns start this weekend

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Retailers expect crowds bigger than Black Friday on upcoming Super Saturday.

If you’ve got a crazy work schedule and can never make it to stores for holiday shopping during normal hours, you’re in luck—because several retailers have unleashed crazy work hours to match your own.”Super Saturday,” or the last Saturday before Christmas, is expected to eclipse Black Friday and become the busiest shopping weekend of the year, retail analysts say.If you need a pair of slippers, hand mixer or a stuffed animal anytime within the next week — even if it’s three in the morning — you’re in luck: Kohl’s is staying open for a week straight in advance of Christmas to catch as much last-minute holiday shopping activity as possible.

Here are some options for consumers who want to go browsing in stores for gifts way past the midnight hour, and at the very last minute just before Christmas. That’s because almost everybody still has some shopping to do, according to a consumer survey by the National Retail Federation, which showed that only 10 percent of American shoppers said they were done buying gifts for the season this week. “As Black Friday became more muddled and spread out last year, we saw more people wait until the last week before Christmas to shop,” said Jeff Green, a retail analyst in Phoenix.

Perhaps hoping to better compete with online retailers like Amazon, where you’ve always been able to shop your way through the wee hours, Kohl’s is making a 24-7 push through the final week of the holiday shopping season. Record-shattering warmth throughout the Northeast — including the warmest temperatures in 120 years in Cleveland — have hit retailers especially hard, said Bill Kirk, chief executive and co-founder of Weather Trends International Inc., a business weather analytics company in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Last year, the department store chain launched its round-the-clock opening hours on Dec. 19, so it’s hoping that the combination of the extra two days this year along with the last-minute sales and promotions it’s pitching will bring shoppers in the doors. Sales are especially slow when compared to the epic cold and snow last November, which drove sales of cold winter merchandise up 50 percent to 500 percent at full margins, he said. From Saturday, Dec. 19, through the following Tuesday, Toys R Us locations will increase hours and be closed for only four hours daily—they’ll shut at 2 a.m. and open back up at 6 a.m.

Warm weather in much of the country have made it harder for stores to move cold-weather inventory like coats and boots, and American consumers today are more inclined to shop online, which means stores lose out on upsells or impulse purchases when shoppers visit the store. The big losers are Northeast winter merchandise firms and retailers whose stores are concentrated in the Northeast, but the winners are consumers who are saving 40 percent on heating bills, home improvement centers that specialize in outdoor projects, restaurants and movie theaters. The children’s retailer is offering free shipping on online orders of $19 or more until 11:59 p.m. on Saturday and free store pickup until 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve. “Foot traffic has been down so far this holiday season, especially over Black Friday,” said Steve Kirn, executive director of the David F. While it’s obviously not inexpensive to pay employees to hang around all night long, “The retailer seems to be making the calculation that the trade-off is worthwhile if it brings more sales,” said the Washington Post.

The International Council of Shopping Centers estimates that with an average of 44 percent of their holiday shopping left to do, 112.8 million shoppers will hit stores and shopping centers on Saturday to shop, dine, see a movie and/or attend a holiday event. There are indications that more shoppers are waiting later to open their wallets this year, so the all-nighters could benefit Kohl’s by attracting shoppers searching for last-minute gifts. Penney is following up its decision to open at 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day with stores opening at 8 a.m. (rather than the usual 9 a.m. or 10 a.m.) now through Dec. 23, and then on Dec. 24 doors open at 7 a.m.

But it’s much harder to make money during it.” The NRF predicts that retail sales during the months of November and December will increase by a modest 3.7 percent this year, to $630.5 billion spent nationwide. Best Buy is also offering free in-store Geek Squad setup (normally $39.99) with the purchase of select tech gifts, including Apple Watch, GoPro HERO4, and Microsoft Surface Pro 4. Customers who buy those items as gifts can give the recipients instructions on how to redeem their free one-on-one appointments with a Geek Squad Agent. Christmas Eve, “as an added convenience to holiday shoppers,” in addition to extra savings on Super Saturday, the retailer said in a written announcement.

— Fannie May Confections Brands, which has a chocolate factory and store in North Canton, has a “buy two, get one free” offer on pre-wrapped boxes of chocolates valued at $24.99 each, through Christmas Eve. Kirk, of WeatherTrends, said: “Retailers have so much excess inventory they will be giving away until mid-Spring… furthering the pain of three quarters in a row of all the wrong weather — record warm Fall, Winter, and then cold Spring.” “We don’t think we get the weather back in sync with retailers’ selling seasons until Summer next year, which will be hot/dry in the North with a positively epic 2016 hurricane season in the south.”

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