News 12 First at 5, December 26, 2008
AUGUSTA, Ga.---The stores may have opened early and plan on staying open late -- but wait just a week and you could save even more.
Patrick May is out making some returns. First on his list -- some speakers from Best Buy and he's not the only one.
"I think people are trying to get good deals and trying to get the exact gift they want so people are gonna be out all over the place today," says Patrick.
And Best Buy sure hopes they are, because like many other stores, the one with the well known yellow sign is struggling to stay in the black.
"We were down a lot at the beginning of our holiday season on gift cards and just on the traffic in the store even though you look around and see so many people its still a lot less than it was last year," says Shalonda Roca, the Best Buy store manager.
Consumer advisor Clark Howard has some advice for shoppers and it's, be patient! He says, "Wait until January 5. Retailers are going to be stuck with massive amounts of goods and those will be reduced to fire sale prices."
"I'll come back then. I'm a budget shopper so if a sales on-- I'm a go!" Exclaims shopper Brittany Wimberly.
"I guess that's kind of good advice just because a lot of stuff we don't have in stock we may have in by that period. So a lot of things they're coming in to look for we don't have in stock right now," says Shalonda.
Across town at Kmart, they're trying to get rid of their Christmas stock. They've got everything marked down and then an extra 50 percent off.
"They're looking for the bargains, the Christmas trees, the decorations. They're actually shopping now for Christmas next year," says Kmart store manager Elizabeth Raiforo.
But Patrick says he's not interested in waiting until next Christmas. He's not interested in waiting one week either. "I'm probably just too impatient to do that -- with a lot of people -- so I'm just gonna go get the stuff I want now," says Patrick.
With cutbacks now, or into the new year, all store are hoping the savings pay off and they are rolling in dough.
Clark Howard also says try and hold on to those gift cards just an extra few days into the new year. Because if prices drop after the first of the year, that gift card will buy you more stuff. But you also don't wanna wait too long because some stores could go bankrupt and then the cards could be useless.
Many folks are out shopping, but a lot of stores are still in the red. The early numbers say retail sales are down 4 percent. Sales of women's clothing, electronics and appliances are off more than 20 percent.
Some experts say sales figures could be the lowest since 1969-- when holiday retail statistics were first taken. But the online retailer Amazon.Com says this has been its quote "best ever" holiday season with more than 6.3 million items ordered.