Stores and online merchants are bracing for "after Christmas" sales, as consumers hunt down postseason bargains and take advantage of gift cards they received as presents.
Websites like Target.com and Kohls.com, started to lure post-Christmas shoppers on Christmas Day with bargains, while Wal-Mart and Kohl's opened their stores at 5 a.m. the following day to catch the early birds.
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"This is an especially big time for people who got gift cards to come and spend on what they didn't get for Christmas," Sarah McKinney, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman, told USA Today.
Antoine LaFromboise, of Target, said the days just after Christmas are the most popular for redeeming its gift cards.
"In 2011, 12 percent of the deals posted on Dec. 26 were of Editors' Choice caliber, meaning they were the best discounts and sales we'd seen all year," Louis Ramirez wrote for DealNews.com earlier this week
. "Last year, the number of Editors' Choice deals jumped to 19 percent. If this trend continues, we might see even more Editors' Choice After Christmas sales this year.
"Considering the volume of consumer reports detailing how retailers did not sell as much as they would have liked during Black Friday, and how holiday spending overall is expected to be down, we anticipate stores will promote After Christmas sales with especially enticing price cuts," Ramirez continued.
Forbes' Laura Heller reported
that consumers should not expect a fire sale on everything over the next few days because retailers are still hoping to maximize returns on gift cards.
"Amazon is running '2013 After Christmas Sales' or year-end deals of up to 70 percent off, and Old Navy's 'Mega Sale' offers 75 percent off in stores and 60 percent online and runs from now through Jan. 31," Heller wrote. "The best deals will likely be on apparel from now until January as retailers clear inventory of winter wear.
"As gift cards rise in popularity each year, retailers adjust inventory planning and generally get a boost immediately following Christmas as shoppers redeem those gift cards," Heller continued.
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