Market Overview

Retailers Hoping For After-Christmas Sales Surge

Retailers Hoping For After-Christmas Sales Surge

Hoping to boost lagging end-of-year sales, a number of retailers announced a push to attract customers after Christmas.

Many big-name stores are taking part – including Macy’s (NYSE: M), Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) and even online giant, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN).

Some traditional bricks and mortar retailers, including Target and Kohl’s started Christmas Day at their online sites.

Both Wal-Mart and Kohl's opened their physical stores Thursday at 5 a.m.

Wal-Mart representative, Sarah McKinney said, "This is an especially big time for people who got gift cards to come and spend on what they didn't get for Christmas." In fact, according to Target representative, Antoine LaFromboise, the day after Christmas is the biggest day of the year for redeeming Target gift cards.

As part of the big year-end push, Macy’s had buy one, get one free deals on men’s dress shirts and suits. Sears (NASDAQ: SHLD) offered up to 40 percent off on appliances and Sears-owned Kmart said “Shop Your Way” members could receive 50 cents off per gallon of gas when they spent $25 or more on specific Proctor & Gamble products.

Amazon featured deals of up to 70 percent off for its “2013 After Christmas Sale,” while Gap-owned Old Navy advertised a “Mega Sale” offering clothing at 75 percent off in stores and 60 percent online.

In general, according to experts at DealNews said the best bargains could be found in apparel, holiday treats and décor, and brand name HDTV sets. In addition, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said last year’s electronic devices would be offered at up to 80 percent off.

Related: Mobile Commerce Rulers: Amazon, eBay & Wal-Mart

While many retailers began their after Christmas sales early this year, experts said the best prices, especially on clothing, would not happen until mid-January as stores look to clear out stock in anticipation of new spring fashions.

Meanwhile, although overall holiday sales in physical stores have been disappointing, resulting in big after-Christmas bargains for shoppers, e-commerce enjoyed a real boom this year. So much so that package delivery systems, including UPS and FedEx became overwhelmed, causing missed or late deliveries just before Christmas.

Retailers, as they conduct post-holiday analysis are certain to note the explosion of online shopping and seek to find ways to adjust to consumers’ new love affair with Internet commerce.

This spells good news for companies like Amazon that already specialize in the online shopping experience and a challenge to others, like Wal-Mart that are more recent arrivals to the world of e-commerce.

At the time of this writing, Jim Probasco had no position in any mentioned securities.


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