Holiday Shoppers Wait for Bigger Bargains

People waiting for last-minute deals

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Linda Bennett is still waiting to do her Christmas shopping. She said she's holding out for retailers to lower their prices.

    "I'm going to stand my ground," said Bennett. "They're going to have to do something." 

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    Bryan Stout says it's just a matter of waiting out the stores.

    "Try to get rid of all the merchandise," said Stout.

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    Linda and Bryan are not alone. According to the ARG/UBS Christmas Forecast, nearly 60 percent of shoppers plan to wait until the days just before Christmas for last-minute deals. More than half of those shoppers are waiting to see 70 percent off signs before they head back to the stores.

    "The retailers have created this type of consumer," said San Diego State marketing professor George Belch. He said shoppers have learned that deals are going to be there if they wait long enough.

    Belch says the economy has improved somewhat since last year but not enough to change bargain shopping habits.

    "We're not in a situation where the consumer is ready to abandon all the deals and just go out and pay full retail value," said Belch.

    The shopping season started off well with a strong showing for Black Friday. But since then, stores have reported an average season. Some believe 40 to 70 percent of discounts are just around the corner.

    "I certainly hope so," said Linda Bennett.