News / Economy

Despite Deep Discounts, US Malls See Fewer Holiday Shoppers

Malls: Fewer Shoppers, Shorter Linesi
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December 24, 2013
Market research shows number of visits to brick and mortar stores fell between five and seven percent compared to the same weekend last year. But as Mil Arcega reports, the shopping season may not yet be over.

Malls: Fewer Shoppers, Shorter Lines

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Despite deep discounts and longer shopping hours, some malls are reporting fewer consumers and shorter shopping lines in the final days leading up to the Christmas holiday, an observation corroborated by market research reports.

Analytics firm RetailNext says the number of visits to brick and mortar stores fell between five and seven percent, compared to the same weekend last year.
While the numbers might indicate a tough year ahead for retailers, some analysts say the shopping season is not over yet.
 
“There’s a few things happening here," said Chris Christopher, director of consumer economics at IHS Global Insight. "One thing is the shift to online.  However there is one weekend shorter this holiday shopping season than last year.”
 
All told, Christopher says, this holiday season could turn out to be the weakest since 2009. But the National Retail Federation says it’s too early to tell, and that it plans to stick to its forecast of a 3.9 percent increase over last year, says spokesperson Kathy Grannis.
 
“Our forecast really is based on an economic expectation, and overall we do feel that retailers are on pace for a healthy holiday season," said Grannis.
 
The Federation estimates holiday sales between November and December will top 600 billion dollars, including the 13-to-15 percent increase in the number of people who shopped online this year.
 
Jason Schlefer, a manager at Best Buy, predicts a surge of last minute shoppers.
 
“We’ve really seen it ramp up in the last few days," he said. "So obviously you’re getting people with a heightened sense of urgency.”
 
For most retailers, the holiday season is crucial, accounting for as much as 40 percent of a store’s annual profits. Grannis says how retailers fare in that window is important because it provides a snapshot of the country’s economic health.
 
“Consumer spending alone contributes nearly 70 percent of the GDP, and we know that the 3.1 trillion dollars that we see from retail is one of the biggest parts of our growing economy.”
 
There are more than 3.6 million stores in the United States — employing more than 42 million Americans.

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Comments
     
by: LIES from: USA
December 26, 2013 1:22 PM
Deep discounts?? That is an outright LIE!! Prices are inflated months before, to then give the ruse of a "discount" come the holiday season. Great Journalism, VOA, bravo!!

In Response

by: Cranksy from: USA
December 27, 2013 12:30 PM
Making a question out of the above person's statement: how do supply-and-demand purist explain when the demand for some products in the USA is highest are the prices lower.


by: Dr. Q. Martin from: USA
December 26, 2013 1:19 PM
Are these people shopping for discounted goods or are they auditioning for George A Romero’s next zombie blockbuster? Instead of spending time with their families during the “season of goodwill,” hordes of people descended on luxury outlets in London to feverishly consume whatever they could get their hands on. Images posted on the Daily Mail website show shoppers displaying just as much enthusiasm for obtaining designer bags as zombies did for gorging on human brains in Dawn of the Dead.

“A spokesman for Selfridges said that the queue for the sales began at 11.30 last night – more than nine hours before the doors opened to customers,” states the report. Whether you are a Christian or not, Christmas is supposed to be a time where we appreciate how lucky we are by understanding that the people around us matter more than the pursuit of physical objects. But that kind of thinking is obviously alien to these zombies, whose rampant materialism has disconnected them from basic human qualities.

As previously highlighted, these kind of hyped up sales are nothing but a complete hoax. Mindless shoppers aren’t even getting the great discounts they cherish since retailers artificially inflate prices of goods in the months before the sales in order to make the subsequent discounts look good in comparison. In addition, even if shoppers do manage to grab some genuine discounts, they will invariably buy another product that has a 98 per cent mark up value. From a wider perspective, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate between Romero’s Dawn of the Dead zombies and Black Friday/Boxing Day shoppers. Given their slow movements, the living dead would stand little chance against these rampaging consumer zombies.


by: Cranksy from: USA
December 25, 2013 12:01 PM
Merry Christmas (or your equivalent ) to my VOA moderator.

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