Retailers counting on post-Christmas sales

Posted at: 12/26/2012 4:49 PM
Updated at: 12/26/2012 5:17 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

New Mexico shoppers thronged into the shopping malls and big box stores Wednesday in the usual day-after-Christmas frenzy. This year retailers are counting on that frenzy to make up for a disappointing shopping season.

Merchants had high hopes going in, but the holiday shopping season was pretty much a dud. Retail groups were expecting an increase of 3 to 4 percent over last year's sales, but Mastercard Spending Pulse reported only a .7 percent increase in sales of electronics, clothing, jewelry and home goods. Now merchants are looking for a post-Christmas rush, and they're continuing many of their pre-Christmas discounts.

KOB Eyewitness News 4 caught up with Harshal Kaur shopping at Coronado Center Wednesday afternoon.

"I spent less this year," Harshal said. "I think there's more sales going on this year. In some stores it's a lot better. I think it's cheaper, there's even a lot more stuff on sale, so it's better this year in my opinion."

KOB asked her sister Cimarron what she was shopping for.

"Lotions, clothes, that's all," Cimarron said.

No jewelry?

"No. We already have a lot of jewelry."

Peggy Kaster was looking for a few late presents.

"I didn't buy a lot of big gifts, but I bought different things that the kids wanted - not one big special gift but a bunch of little stuff, mostly clothes," Kaster said.

Holiday sales are such a big deal because many stores make 40 percent or even 50 percent of their yearly profit during the November and December shopping season.

Market analysts say consumers are worried, mainly about the "fiscal cliff" and the lack of a deal in Congress to head off automatic tax increases and spending cuts that are scheduled to go into effect next week.