Retailers Hope Post-Holiday Sales Boost Revenue

By: John Tramontana Email
By: John Tramontana Email

It's the second biggest shopping day of the year, behind the Friday after Thanksgiving, and retailers are counting on big sales to boost an otherwise slow holiday season.

While the numbers may show sales are behind, store managers say those numbers are skewed, due to a hike in gift card sales. Gift cards aren't counted in sales until after they're redeemed.

"It's a gift that can be used at any time and it's a gift you want to use," Target team leader Mark Amundsen said. "It's not something that you're going to look to return."

And that's the reason behind the spike in popularity. Consumers are expected to spend nearly 25 billion dollars on gift cards this year, up from just over 18 billion last year.

"It's been a gradual increase over time with the amount of gift cards that are purchased," Amundsen continued. "I think that's helped to decrease our returns which aren't as busy as we may have anticipated."

And while the kids are coming in the cash in with their gift cards, parents are cashing in on something else -- Christmas decorations for next year. With holidays supplies 50 percent off at Target, some shoppers stocked up for next year.

"It saves half the cost," shopper Deanna Fenech said. "It's everything I already knew i need so i just buy what i need for next year. Wrapping paper, anything to wrap gifts with and the Christmas cards for next year."

"Some after Christmas specials and ornaments," shopper Linda Dougherty said. "I came to pick up bags for some friends. I like to buy them after Christmas that way i can get more that way."

Last year, the week after Christmas accounted for 15 percent of the season's sales, up from 10 percent in 2004. Retailers are hoping for another big boost to make the year's goals.


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