Friday, October 31, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Retailers lay out plans to attract holiday shoppers

Holiday Price War

FILE - In this Feb. 22, 2010 file photo, a store associate helps a customer at the Sears retail store in Burbank, Calif. A week before Halloween and two full months before Christmas, stores are desperately trying to outdo each other in hopes of drawing in customers worn down by the economy. Sears is offering to beat a competitorís best price by 10 percent. Wal-Mart, the biggest store in the nation, joined the price wars Monday, Oct. 24, 2011, by announcing that it would give gift cards to shoppers if they buy something there and find it somewhere else cheaper. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

By
From page C5 | November 16, 2011 |

By Robin McMacken

Despite a holiday season dampened by a struggling economy and high unemployment rates, shoppers will find much to be jolly about in the ways retailers will actively court them this year.

Savvy spenders in 2011 can expect extended store hours, free shipping offers, reasonable layaway programs and revved-up online shopping sites.

There is good cause for retailers to spice things up for value-conscious shoppers.

Although holiday retail sales for 2011 are expected to increase 2.8 percent to $465.6 billion, according to the National Retail Federation, that growth is lower than the 5.2 percent increase retailers experienced last year.

Web of allure

The trifecta of holiday bargain days — Black Friday (always the day after Thanksgiving and arguably the busiest shopping day of the year), Small Business Saturday on Nov. 26, and Cyber Monday on Nov. 28 — is surely not to be ignored, but keep in mind the Internet has made shopping a 24/7 bargain bonanza.

Online retailers are prepping by optimizing their sites, beginning their marketing and promotions early, and planning plenty of free shipping promotions as they aim to provide value and convenience for their shoppers, according to Fiona Swerdlow of Shop.org. “Online retailers will also leverage their social media and mobile platforms for savvy shoppers on the go, knowing how important customer reviews and comparison shopping applications are to holiday shoppers.”

Let the games begin

Big-box retailers such as Target and Macy’s will open at the stroke of midnight on Black Friday to get in additional holiday shopping hours. JC Penney, on the other hand, is sticking with 4 a.m. except at stores in malls that are opening earlier.

In the meantime, other retailers are waiting to announce their plans.

Lay it away

Layaway plans have re-emerged from the shopping days of yore as consumers work to eliminate credit card debt.

This year, the Sears layaway program allows customers to pay as little as $20 or 20 percent down (whichever is greater) and make online or in-store payments every two weeks before claiming their goods. Sears charges $5 to initiate a layaway contract and $15 for cancellation.

In the Kmart in-store and online layaway program, shoppers are required to pay $5 to start a layaway contract, make a down payment of $15 or 10 percent (whichever is greater), and are subject to a $10 cancellation fee.

Walmart’s layaway campaign began Oct. 17 and can be used for in-store purchases of $50 or more on electronics, fine jewelry and toys. Each item must be worth at least $15 and shoppers will pay a $5 initiation fee, place 10 percent down, and pay off and pick up the merchandise by Dec. 16 or face a $10 cancellation fee.

Tip: It’s always a good idea to ask local boutiques about their layaway policies.

Shipping in style

Shoppers have plenty to be joyous about this holiday season as research shows nine in 10 (92.5 percent) online retailers say they plan on offering free shipping at some point, up from 84.8 percent in 2010.

Eager shoppers also can expect these offers to start soon, according to Shop.org’s eHoliday survey. Nearly one-third (31.4 percent) of businesses surveyed say their free shipping offers would start earlier in the season compared to last year.

Smart shopping

When it comes to holiday gift-giving, most of us have the same mindset: We want to give loved ones (and perhaps ourselves) high-quality presents without the high price tags.

Here are some tips to celebrate the season in style without breaking the bank:

* Shop early and shop often, according to Michelle Madhok, online shopping expert and editor of shefinds.com. Stores are expected to have smaller inventories this holiday season, so don’t delay if you have specific gifts in mind.

* Fend off holiday madness by staying organized. Madhok suggests creating shopping lists and budgets by registering (for free) on rememberthemilk.com.

* Take advantage of search engines that offer coupon alerts for savvy shoppers. Madhok recommends such sites as shopstyle.com and pronto.com. You can sign up for sale alerts and newsletters and also tailor your account to include your preferred brands and products.

* Frequently visit such off-price stores as T.J. Maxx and Marshalls to snag brand names and designer fashions at a fraction of department store prices.

“These stores get a lot of great holiday items, such as candles, makeup sets and gloves,” according to Madhok.

Off-price stores typically receive shipments every day in small quantities, she adds, so it pays to be zealous in your shopping expeditions. Madhok strives to visit such stores daily to score the best deals.

* Use free smartphone apps like Coupon Sherpa, Google Shopper and Shop Savvy to ensure you are getting the best price in town or on the Internet, according to helpsavemedollars.com.

The apps let you scan product barcodes and instantly find you the best price available as well as any coupons or rebates being offered.

And one of the latest free apps to make shopping a wintry breeze: Goggle Wallet. With this app, you can make purchases, redeem coupons and earn points at select stores with the single tap of your cell phone.

* Scour the newspaper for sales, coupons and inserts.

* “Like” the Facebook pages of your favorite retailers and follow stores on Twitter. Oftentimes, special deals and private sales will be announced. You can register on New York & Company’s Faceboook page, for instance, for free trip to New York City.

— Story filed by Cox Newspapers

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    State superintendent makes campaign stop in Davis

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Indians celebrate Diwali with gala on Sunday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Rairdan dinged for late report

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A3

     
    Veterans will tailgate at ‘Salute to Heroes’ game

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Wolk hailed for environmental votes

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Yamada honored for leadership on aging issues

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Embroidery group meets at mall

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Bones for Life classes offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Bet Haverim will hear Israel update

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Local artisans featured at holiday craft fair

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Kids walk for friends at Birch Lane

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Got bikes? Donate ‘em!

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Explorit: Creep out with some spooky science

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A4

     
    Shambhala offers Tai Chi class

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Enjoy wine, music and art at Sunday fundraiser for DHS choir

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Forum

    My choices on Tuesday

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Garamendi, Dodd get my votes

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    High hopes for Sunder

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Public service is in her heart

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    A calm, thoughtful voice

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Sunder is a perfect fit

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Best predictor is past behavior

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Vote for students, with Tuck

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    .

    Sports

    DHS plays undefeated Pacers Friday night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Blue Devil girls net an easy win at Grant

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Aggie offense A-OK; now what about defense?

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    In Davis, rugby is as American as apple pie

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
     
    Niemi’s 43 saves aren’t enough in loss to Wild

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    Calling all artists for upcoming show

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    ‘Birdman': A dark comedy that soars

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11

     
    DHS Madrigals host singing workshop

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12

     
    Marcia Ball to play at The Palms

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    Big, capable luxury defines Yukon

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Joseph Francis Gray

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, October 31, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6

     
    .

    Real Estate Review

    Featured Listing

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER1

    Professional Services Directory

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER2

    Lyon Real Estate

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER3

    RE/Max Gold

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER4

    Kim Eichorn

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER5

    Susan von Geldern

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER6

    Team Traverso

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER6

    Yolo FCU

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER6

    Juan Ramirez

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER6

    Tracy Harris

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER7

    Susan von Geldern

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER7

    Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER8

    Julie Leonard

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER8

    Joe Kaplan

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER9

    Melrina A Maggiora

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER9

    Coldwell Banker

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER10

    Leslie Blevins

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER12

    Julie Partain

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER12

    Robin Garland

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER13

    Jamie Madison

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER13

    Diane Lardelli

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER13

    Karen Waggoner

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER14

    Jamie Madison & Associates

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER14

    Lisa Haass

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER14

    Ciana Wallace

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER15

    Travis Credit Union

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER16

    Malek Baroody

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER17

    Marcelo Campos

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER18

    F1rst Street Real Estate

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER20