Dull old sweaters were no match for flat screen TVs and other electronic items over the weekend. Blogging in the WSJ's holiday shopping site, Stephanie Kang and Amy Marrick found a number of bargains at the Citadel Outlet in City of Commerce, including 50 percent off Max Studio sweaters and a buy one, get one free offer at KB Toys.
But stores are low on fresh ideas, too. At Old Navy, the fleece pullovers on sale for $10 cost the same last year, too. What’s more, the top prize for its shopping-spree giveaway has been cut back from $1,000 to $250. The free clutch purse from Express looks an awful lot like the bags it gave away with purchases last year. And does anyone who spent $50 at Victoria’s Secret last year, and received a tote bag emblazoned with pictures of supermodels, need a similar one this year?
Sunday's retail roundups offered mixed signals on the numbers. The WSJ blog has a Visa economist saying that sales at department stores were not nearly as strong as in past years. But the other mall stores seemed to do well. A retail analyst from Wachovia Securities who tracked business at the Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch and Aéropostale, told the NYT that strong early-morning traffic on Friday “did not drift off around noon. Stores were holding the attention of customer.” You often get these sketchy reports in the first few days of the shopping season because merchants haven't tallied up all the numbers. The best clues will come later in the week when stores will release their November sales numbers.