Budget-minded shoppers drive prices down

November 26, 2008 5:37:35 PM PST
Black Friday is traditionally one of the busiest shopping days of the year. But if the experts are right, you should have a lot more elbow room. 7 On Your Side tracks the mood and mindset of this year's shoppers.

A retail trade group predicts 5 percent less people will be shopping this Thanksgiving weekend. The scene at Union Square seems to confirm that.

The sale signs on Union Square are as prevalent as the neon on the Las Vegas strip ? "2 for the price of 1," "40 percent off," and "75 percent off."

At Paris Jewelry, their best pieces can go for one million dollars. But right now, everything is 50 percent off.

"We have too much merchandise so we're going to have to sell it," said Mayer Saket-Khou, owner of Paris Jewelry.

You can still feel the buzz from shoppers, but right now that buzz is not good. Lots of foot traffic from people who are not buying.

"I know my budget, and my budget is nothing this year, unfortunately," said shopper Cirana Michaels.

"I just got laid off. I have to worry about my mortgage and everything else. So there's no Christmas or holidays basically for us," said shopper Michelle Kamel.

Those who are shopping are predicted to spend less. One California business research firm predicts Americans will spend $460 billion this holiday season. That is down more than 3 percent from last year.

Three percent may not sound like much, but for retailers it translates into more than $14 billion.

On a related note, Home Depot sent out word Wednesday that it is not closing any stores, despite some media reports to the contrary. The folks there want you to know the outfit is strong, stores are open and its gift cards are safe.

For information and resources on Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping deals, click here.


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