Retailers try to lure last minute shoppers

December 23, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
On the day before Christmas Eve, last minute shoppers are hitting the malls, but the question is their procrastination paying off and are retailers actually saving the best deals for last?

At San Jose's Eastridge Mall the line for Santa is shorter, the crowds are thinner, and the bags in hand are fewer.

"There aren't too many people today, we were expecting a lot of people," said Dixie Dono, from San Jose.

So were retailers, who brought out the big sale signs to lure last minute shoppers. While the gifts on the list may be the same, what has changed this season is the length of that list.

"I had a way bigger list and cut it in half, because of the economy," said Christopher Tolentino, from San Jose.

Americans are sticking to a budget. Consumer analysts say 66 percent will use cash and not credit while shopping this year.

"This year we're trying to save money so I cut a lot of coupons," said Dono.

Meantime, vendors like Sam Khan from Ali Jewelry can't afford to lose anymore business, so he's discounted all of his jewelry.

"It's going to be 60 percent down as compared to last year," said Khan.

There is one sales sector that's growing because of the down economy... arts and crafts supplies.

Last year 42 million people gave handmade gifts, but this year that number is expected to increase. Consumers will likely save a lot of money by giving away handmade jewelry and custom designed clothing.

"If I bought a shirt it'd probably cost $20 or $30 and this is like $10 or $15," said Jennifer Sajor, from San Jose.

The buttons Sajor will add to her homemade shirt are on sale. Michael's store reps noticed the new trend and started pushing homemade project ideas. It's a shift Michael's hopes will put it in the black.


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