But lured by desperate retailers who slashed post holiday prices to record breaking lows, Roberts and his daughter were among the throngs of shoppers taking advantage of sales of 70 percent to 80 percent off at the Lehigh Valley Mall on Friday morning.
12/31/2008 FOR THE RECORD (Published December 30, 2008) Nikki Huggan is the manag pandora jewellery er of the Bon Ton at the Palmer Park Mall. Her name was incorrect in a story Saturday.
“We’re here because of the deals. Penney.
In a last ditch effort to salvage a dismal holiday shopping season, the nation’s retailers, who started cutting prices in early November, launched a Black Friday, Part 2. for the first time ever on the day after Christmas and offered doorbusters such as 40 percent off jewelry that was already marked down as much as 50 percent or more. and offered deeper price discounts, including up to 60 percent off all men’s outerwear.
It was all part of an effort to drive sales of unmoved inventories and turn profits.
“Retailers have to be aggressive, even now, because you want to keep the customers coming in and buying your merchandise you have left over,” said Charles Marinello, chief executive officer of Retail Initiatives Consulting Group in Allentown.
“Retailers will be closing their December books soon and then going into inventory period,” he said, “so they are looking to turn not just into exchanges but sales.”
According to preliminary data from SpendingPulse a division of MasterCard Advisors that tracks total sales paid for by credit card, checks and cash retail sales fell between 5.5 percent and 8 percent during the holiday season compared with last year.
Conducting a repeat of Black Friday, with even deeper cuts, made shoppers take notice.
Ann Hoffman and her sister Bobbi Hoffman have made it a decade long tradition to shop the day after Christmas, snatching up what they have called good bargains as high as 50 percent off.
This year, however, the two were armed with more bags of sweaters and jewelry than in years past as they took advantage of what they considered jaw dropping deals.
“The discounts are definitely much better this year than in the past,” said Bobbi Hoffman of Allentown.
Likewise, shoppers at the Palmer Park Mall said they came to shop, not to return presents for pandora jewellery cash, as some industry experts predicted would happen.
Nena Moyer of Forks pandora jewellery pandora jewellery ng> Township took advantage of the deals at Bon Ton to do some Christmas shopping for next year.
“Seventy five percent off, you can’t beat it,” she said. “I’m buying way ahead this year.”
Tara Martin of Moore Township said she was at the mall in Palmer Township to make some returns, but also to shop.
“I was sort of holding off until after Christmas to spend,” Martin said, the sagging economy making her more concerned about “getting better deals.”
Shoppers said their strategy for waiting until after Christmas to shop paid off.
“It’s cheaper” to shop now, said Jamie Guzzo of Bangor, “and some of the things we couldn’t pick up before Christmas are now on sale.”
Whether Guzzo and the other shoppers will help improve the bottom line for retailers remains to be seen.
A representative for the Lehigh Valley Mall in Whitehall Township said the crowds appeared to be similar to last year’s.