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 percent off sales through Dec. 25 will add a 10 percent 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.
"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 percent 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 percent off specials on several variations of its popular plastic blocks.
Other deals for the taking: men's shoes at Macy's (lots going for 30 percent off through a coupon sale) and 60 percent markdowns on jewelry at chain retailers including Zales and Gordon's.
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.
© 2012 Forbes.com