Everyone knows Christmastime means deals, as stores compete to lure holiday shoppers. But while it's great to save money on gifts, don't think the deals end once the presents are unwrapped.
In recent years the hyper-competitive nature of holiday retailing has led more and more chains to extend sales into the post-Christmas period. Many stores running 50% off sales through Dec. 25 will add a 10% kicker the following week. So gift card recipients, take note: Your card has extra buying power if you use it quickly. Otherwise, think about putting it away until next December.
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"If you're an apparel retailer, you want your shelves cleared by President's Day weekend," says industry tracker Britt Beemer of America's Research Group. "Spring is vital; it's the only time people might be willing to buy stuff at 20% off, or even at full retail if they love it." Consumers are hitting the stores this year, Beemer says, but some caution remains. They're still just as intent on deals as they've been for the last couple of years.
Post-Christmas deals stretch beyond apparel, according to data compiled by Dealio.com, a shopping guide website. Consumer electronics like television sets, laptops and GPS systems can be had for bargain prices near year's end. A few of the notable sales slated to extend past Christmas:
• CompUSA is chopping $600 off a Samsung 46-inch LED TV (to $899.99)
• Price reductions on notebook computers at newegg.com, including $100 off Lenovo's 15-inch widescreen G560.
For those willing to be patient, computer accessories can be had at a relative bargain, with Staples and CompUSA trimming prices on monitors. And big discounts on GPS navigation systems will be out there at Best Buy (the TomTom XL 350TM system for $149.99, down from $229.99), and J&R (a Bushnell ONIX 350 Hand Held system for $64.97, a $20 discount).
Then there's the light, fun stuff. Looking for a foosball table for the basement? Sports Authority is offering up a 48-inch unit for $89.99, a $60 savings. For the kids, Walmart has lots of toy clearance activity, including blocks and Leap Frog games. Lego.com, meanwhile, is expected to offer 50% off specials on several variations of its popular plastic blocks.
Chalk it all up to retailers not only wanting to clear out those excess inventories, but to impress Wall Street with holiday sales performance. Comparisons are generally applied to year-over-year sales numbers for the November-December period; come Christmas, that period still has a week to go, keeping the competition fierce. Some gifts just need to be in the house Christmas morning. But for those that can wait, more savings await.
Both Zales and Gordon's jewlers are offering savings of up to 60% on many items. Meantime, Lemoges Jewelry features $10 off sterling silver engraved message rings and $30 off gold-overlay sterling silver Hollywood script name necklaces.
Best Buy is offering TomTom XL 350TM Portable GPS Navigation for $149.99 (regularly $229.99). The Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS system for runners is marked down $35 to $144.99 at J&R, which is also reducing the Bushnell ONIX 350 Hand Held system by 20 bucks to $64.97.
Always wanted a foosball table for the basement? Sports Authority will have the 48-inch version for $89.99, a $60 savings. Walmart is knocking $20 off a three-cabinet television stand (going for $49) and $50 off the Vera convertible sofa bed ($199.98).
Elmo's Treasure Hunt Adventure Building Set will be half price ($14.99) on Buy.com. Expect a lot of toy clearance activity at Walmart, including blocks and Leap Frog games. Also, lots of 50% off specials on Lego.com.
Many price reductions here. A Samsung 46-inch LED normally prices at $1,499.99 will go for $899.99 at CompUSA. J&R will offer the Haier 22-incher for $199.99 (down $90). Also, try Abe's of Maine (based in Edison, N.J., these days, but you can shop online) for $100 off a 37-inch Samsung, along with other various electronics deals.
An Acer 23-inch LCD monitor will be going for $169.98 ($30 off) at Staples, which is also offering a Kodak ESP 7250 wireless printer at about half price. CompUSA is taking $50 off a 20-inch Compaq monitor ($99.99).
The $1,129.99 HP Pavilion laptop will be marked down to $649.99 at CompUSA, which also has $200 savings on a couple of Asus brand laptops. For notebooks, try newegg.com, which touts $100 off the Lenovo G560 (15-inch widescreen).