Stores Attempt to Lure Last-Minute Shoppers

By LeeAnn Trotter
|  Monday, Dec 23, 2013  |  Updated 5:21 PM CDT
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Gift Guide: 15 Last-Minute Finds

Retailers are seeing sales increase online, but less people are actually going into the stores.

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Brick-and-mortar businesses were pulling out all the stops in an effort to lure last-minute Christmas shoppers.

Many stores are advertising prices as high as 75 percent off. Retail analysts say that one reason merchants are so desperate, is because holiday shopping is down.

"The only bright spot by a long wide shot is online shopping," Crain's Chicago business reporter Brigid Sweeney said. "Pretty much, shoppers have been spending 25 percent more online than last year according to most estimates. Sales surpassed $31 billion recently, which is huge. However, that mean they are not as excited about in-store shopping."

Retailers typically hope to make up to 40 percent of their profits during the holiday season, which meant heavy promotions since Black Friday.

"We have some very good specials, anything from 10 percent off to 80 percent off and everything in between," Macy's spokeswoman Andrea Schwartz said.

Many shoppers appear to be holding back, and in some cases are vowing to wait until after Christmas for even bigger discounts.

"When you ask consumers why they didn’t get finished, the number one reason was they were waiting for bigger discounts," one analyst said.

The solution for gift-givers who didn't finish? Gift cards, which a spokesman for DealNews noted "will force the recipient to shop the after-Christmas sales, which are way better than they are before Christmas."

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