Stores Sell Deep Discounts to Salvage Slumping Sales - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Stores Sell Deep Discounts to Salvage Slumping Sales

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) -- The sun wasn't even up completely, and already they were three-dozen deep, lured by deals and steals.

"I'm looking at some stuff for next year -- decor for the house," said Eddie Kerla, who was second in line at the Target store in Lake Park Friday morning. "I think it's about 30 percent off, if not more."

Stores like Target were offering discounts and doorbusters early Friday morning as part of a multi-pronged last-minute effort: get shoppers to spend some "green" and get themselves out of the "red" before the new year.

The discounts may help shoppers, but it may be too late for retailers. Full numbers aren't out until after January 1st, but an early report indicates holiday sales were off by 1.5 to 2 percent from a year ago, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers. That would make this the worst holiday retail season since 1969.

"People are fearful and because of that, they're just not spending," said Sharon Pritzl, as she scoured the Christmas clearance aisle.

Retailer Target pushed online deals, while Sears stores opened several hours early and offered doorbuster deals through noon. Toys R Us says it cut prices by as much as 60 percent on some brands.

"I think we spend a little less because of the economy, holding back a little bit," added Kerla.

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