Will Sales Put Shoppers in the Holiday Spirit?

By: Ashlea Sigman Email
By: Ashlea Sigman Email

It's a countdown many people with long shopping lists don't want to hear: Christmas is just nine weeks away.

With a sluggish national economy, many retailers and some gift givers are wondering how this year's gifts under the tree, will stack up to last year's.

At Lowe's in Bryan, the Christmas decorations are out, but not many seemed to be in the holiday buying mood just yet.

"We have not started yet," said Andy Hinton.

September saw national retail sales numbers fall to the lowest point in three years, as nationwide, shoppers reigned in spending.

Analysts aren't sure what to expect for the holidays. A College Station shopper has a prediction.

"Where it was more like 'oh I'll get it, the cost isn't really an issue,' I think this year the cost would be an issue," said Whitney Bledsoe. "I think its gonna be a whole lot more from the heart instead of from the wallet."

Many retailers are already offering discounts they hope may attract holiday buyers, now.

"I wish I could say it would and you would think as an accountant it would, but I will probably continue my tradition of waiting until the last minute," said Hinton.

Many people were shopping the sales this weekend at Linens 'N Things. The retail giant filed for bankruptcy in May. Friday, it announced all of its U.S. stores will close.

"Thought that might be a good opportunity to find some bargains and maybe do some early Christmas shopping," said Keta Adams.

Even those already in the spirit say they'll be doing things a little different this year.

"I'll probably spend more time looking around carefully, instead of making the first purchase I see," said Adams.

Linens 'N Things expects to close all stores by January 1st, and for now is still honoring gift cards.

Sales of non-traditional gift cards like those for restaurants and fast food are expected to be up by 30% this holiday season.

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