Dec. 24 - Retailers are putting in their best and last efforts to get holiday shoppers to spend in the final hours before Christmas. Bobbi Rebell reports.
The sale signs are everywhere - offering last minute deals - as retailers make one last push. Shoppertrak lowered its forecast for holiday sales to rise 2.5 percent - down from 3.3 percent - blaming discounts and the impact of hurricane Sandy. Brian Sozzi, Chief Equities Analyst at NBG productions: SOUNDBITE: BRIAN SOZZI, CHIEF EQUITIES ANALYST, NBG PRODUCTIONS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "They seemed to start off pretty well but now as the season has gone along the sales have slowed down a little bit and the discounts have picked up and quite frankly that is a function of everything that is going on in the economy finally reaching main street. " In fact, Bankrate says one in three consumers have cut back on personal spending because of the budget showdown in Washington REPORTER BRIDGE: BOBBI REBELL, REUTERS REPORTER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Here at Queens Center in New York retailers have been pulling all-nighters- staying open 24 hours for several days in a row- hoping to get those last few dollars from shoppers ahead of the holiday. " Dawn Simon is the Senior Manager of Marketing: SOUNDBITE: DAWN SIMON, SENIOR MANAGER OF MARKETING, QUEENS CENTER (ENGLISH) SAYING: " The special deals are door busters, sometimes at 2 am or certain hours during the early morning the retailers will just have a sale going to encourage people to shop. You may see as much as 50% off, 75% off or just special offers on specific merchandise." With less money to spend- shoppers are watching and waiting for the deals: SOUNDBITE: MARY HELEN MCCARTHY, SHOPPER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I'm probably spending about 40% of what I usually spent on Christmas before, and my kids know it" SOUNDBITE: RAFAEL ESPINAL, SHOPPER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I'll be honest I've been trying to consume less this year when it comes to spending. You know I think everyone is very mindful to how much money they are spending this year " SOUNDBITE: ANTHONY POLACO, SHOPPER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "You gotta watch your budget. It is just a matter of the way things are nowadays you gotta make sure you are holding on a little tighter to what you got in your pocket. " The upside: retailers have done a better job at managing their inventory this season- so they haven't had to hit the panic button with sales- and will be able to bring in new - higher profit margin merchandise- after the holiday.