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Will Short Christmas Shopping Season Bring 'Insane Saturday' at the Mall?

Retailers are slashing prices and experts say Dec. 21 will be the second-biggest day of the holiday shopping season.

Holiday shoppers are looking for steep discounts this week to finish their shopping. File | Patch
Holiday shoppers are looking for steep discounts this week to finish their shopping. File | Patch

With signs advertising deals of 50 to 70 percent off, many stores looked on Monday the way they did for Black Friday, says WJLA TV.

There are only 26 days this year between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and additionally, the holiday shopping season is off to a bad start. And three Baltimore-area snowfalls in three days the second week of December have distracted others from buying, says the Baltimore Sun.

While many shoppers have taken advantage of some of the deals out there, there are many who haven’t. A National Retail Federation survey shows that the average shopper has checked off only half of their Christmas list so far, with some in the survey saying they haven’t even started shopping yet at all.

Some of the biggest shopping days of the year are likely still to come, with the second biggest day after Black Friday expected to be this Saturday Dec. 21, according to ShopperTrak, which reports retail sales and traffic.

But so far, the season is falling short of expectations, Bill Martin, ShopperTrak's founder, told the Sun. Sales rose just 2.1 percent in November. And in the first week of December, sales fell 2.9 percent, ShopperTrak reported.

The holiday shopping season could play out in a couple of ways, the Sun said. Pent-up demand could propel shoppers out closer to Christmas and push sales up. Or shoppers could be tapped out after shopping over the Black Friday kickoff weekend, when many retailers opened their doors earlier than ever on Thanksgiving.

Consumers are far more price conscious than they were even five years ago, and the depth of discounts offered will likely have a bigger impact on the season than the number of shopping days, sBritt Beemer, chairman of America's Research Group, a consumer research and marketing firm told the newspaper.

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