Social media boosts pre-holiday sales

SAN JOSE, Calif.

Even though it means a lot of early bargains, some shoppers aren't thrilled that Christmas trees replaced Halloween decorations virtually overnight.

"I really don't like it. I wish they would let one season pass before starting the next. Thanksgiving hasn't even come yet," San Jose resident Maria Ray said.

Given this year's sluggish economy though, retailers aren't waiting and are seizing every opportunity to grab hold of the limited shopping dollars out there.

On Friday morning, hundreds of people lined up outside Gap stores nationwide to get a free pair of jeans. Every Gap store is offering free merchandise to the first 10,000 customers who log onto a Facebook promotion page and come to retail outlet.

"It's a Facebook event and you get a free pair of jeans," Adriana Ramirez said while she waited in line at Westfield Valley Fair Mall with her smart phone in hand.

Social media is one way to lure buyers into the stores but traditional slash the prices on big ticket items is another approach that is working. Best Buy is offering three day specials that have 32 inch HD TV's going out the door for $259.99 and HD camcorder selling for $179.

Economists anticipate the mix of these bargain busters and a slow climb out of the recession will drive holiday sales to a better place than last year.

The National Retail federation is predicting a moderate increase of 2.3 percent this year to $447.1 billion If that estimate holds, it is much better than the .4 percent uptick the industry saw in holiday sales last year.

Copyright © 2024 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.