Retailers hopeful for post-Christmas boost
Gloomy skies and rain didn't stop deal-seeking shoppers from dashing from store to store with gift cards and holiday cash in hand at the Desert Premium Outlets in Cabazon on Wednesday.
"We came to shop, return some things and buy more things," said Lana Frausto, of Redlands.
"I usually do all of my shopping the day after Christmas. So I've been coming this exact day for years," said Aaron Schiffman, of La Quinta.
On Dec. 26, Schiffman is not alone, which is good news for hopeful retailers that are counting on these next few post-Christmas days to make up lost ground.
Leading up to the holiday, shoppers were the most cautious they've been with their spending since 2008. A report by SpendingPulse discovered that retail sales increased only 0.7 percent from late October to Christmas Eve. Analysts expected a three to four percent jump.
What lures in the crowds the day after Christmas?
"I think there's been a lot of good deals," said Frausto.
Retailers, including those at the Westfield shopping mall in Palm Desert pull out all the stops, offering anywhere from 50 percent to 70 percent discounts. And it's paying off.
Schiffman says, "I got a nice jacket for $50, usually $170."
"The stores have really gone out of their way. There's a lot of fantastic deals, lots of happy shoppers and a lot of bags," said Paul Wallsinger, the operations manager at Desert Premium Outlets.
This final week of December can account for about 15 percent of the month's sales. So, for those of you returning or exchanging your gifts, here's a little warning.
"There's way too many people just trying to get things. So dealing with customer service is dealing with a madhouse inside of a madhouse," said Sonia Vizuete, of Redlands.
Wallsinger says, "Plan ahead. It could take a little extra time."
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