Holiday Shopping News : Stores welcome holiday shopping procrastinators

Stores welcome holiday shopping procrastinators

Laura Petrecca, and Mike Snider, USATODAY

With just one week until Christmas, retailers are rolling out shopper-baiting strategies to lure procrastinators, deal-hunters and people who just want a few extra stocking stuffers.

Tactics include offering extended shopping hours, free shipping, last-minute-shopping ad campaigns and social media reminders that time is ticking away.

The week leading up to Christmas is usually when consumers open their wallets wide – the Saturday before the holiday traditionally being the biggest spending day behind Black Friday, according to shopper analytics firm ShopperTrak. Four of the 10 busiest holiday shopping days will occur between Dec. 20 and Dec. 24, ShopperTrak predicts.

“All the procrastinators are going to come out,” says ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin.

This holiday shopping season is shorter than last, with six fewer days – translating into just four weekends instead of five.

The final two weeks of the year account for as much as 30% of holiday season sales, the National Retail Federation says.

In-store retail sales for the week of Dec. 9 to Dec. 15 were down about 1% from the same week last year, according to ShopperTrak data released on Tuesday. Snowstorms in the Midwest and Northeast kept people from shopping, Martin says.

There will be “high levels of in-store shopper activity” the weekend before Christmas, he says.

Here’s how retailers are trying to get the attention of gift buyers: (read the complete article)

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