Shopping for holiday bargains

October 11, 2010 3:21:36 PM PDT
Shopping on Columbus Day could give you a good idea of what to expect when the holiday shopping season is in full swing.

"I basically shop for a living and I'm in stores every single day and I see tons of discounts," said Lisa Frucht, a shopper.

Retail experts, already weeks before the holiday season, are expecting shoppers not to spend much more than last year.

"Tremendous discounting because that is the only thing that is going to drive sales. The consumer is limited in the amount of dollars they have to spend," said Howard Davidowitz, a retail analyst.

Retailers are looking to the holiday season to generate 40% of their annual revenue, and a whopping 50% for toy merchants.

But with many still out of work and the economy not rebounding as some though it would earlier this year, shoppers will be looking for bargains.

"A lot of discounts. That's going to drive my shopping. I'm going to be looking for a lot of sales and stuff like that," said Ehime Sadoh, a shopper.

Where they shop is also a factor.

"Department stores, if there are good deals, especially if I use my department store credit card," said Kelly Maier, a shopper.

Major retailers see a competitive season, Walmart's CEO told its investors it will be a very "aggressive Christmas and holiday selling season."

In this economy, many shoppers have already been seeking out stores where they feel their dollar equals value.

"I work two jobs, I have two children, one going off to college. I look for the best value, the best bang for my buck," said Diane Kavanagh, a shopper.

"They're tightening up and trying to be more careful, and I think that's rational, and they are going to buy things when they think there is real value," Davidowitz said.