If you got gift cards for Christmas, don’t tuck them away in the back of your wallet or toss them into the kitchen junk drawer. Doing so leaves you dangerously poised to forget about them altogether, adding yours to the estimated $2 billion in gift cards that go unused every year. Instead, keep those cards center stage today, not only so you can assuredly put them to good use, but also so you can capitalize on after-Christmas sales.
With Thanksgiving falling so late in November this year, the holiday shopping season was a short one. This combined with shoppers holding tight to their purse strings means retailers have felt the pinch, reporting lackluster sales the past few weeks. Determined to turn things around, they’re pulling out all the stops to lure you into stores with what are expected to be some of the biggest after-Christmas discounts ever.
As reported by ABC News, the week before Christmas, ending this past Sunday, showed sales down 3.1 percent compared to the same time period last year. Also for the week ending Sunday, the number of actual shoppers was down more than 20 percent compared to the same time period last year.
That said, The National Retail Federation says it expects to end the year with in-store and online sales up 3.9 percent. But that is likely dependent on shoppers taking advantage of after-Christmas sales so good that some actually started before Christmas was over. Discounts vary, but look for cuts as deep as 70 percent, particularly on winter apparel and holiday decor.
Will you shop the after-Christmas sales? Why or why not?