After Christmas Shopping Outlook - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/26/08

After Christmas Shopping Outlook

It's been a busy day at cash registers across the South Plains and the U.S. as shoppers take advantage of widespread sales.

Retailers slashed low prices even more in an effort to make up for disappointing pre-holiday sales. Consumers are trying to do what they've been doing all season - fill their carts without emptying their wallets. That includes here in Lubbock.

You can't miss the sale signs and shoppers certainly didn't miss the chance to make the most of Christmas cash and gift cards. In a way, it's like Black Friday - round two.

This season has been all about the sale and it was no different the day after Christmas. "The sale items are selling really well. People see those yellow tags and see sale and that's what they want to buy," says Manager Bradley Whitworth of Cardinal's Sports Center.

Whitworth says he's seen a little bit of everything Friday. "People spending Christmas money that they got and a few people who haven't even celebrated so they are still out buying gifts. And of course, you have refunds and exchanges," says Whitworth.

Shopper Kayla Ayers received e-mails from stores alerting her of post-Christmas bargains she says she couldn't pass up. "As always you have a few gifts to return but we received some gift cards and Christmas money and had to come for the sales," says Ayers.

Preliminary data from SpendingPulse, a division of MasterCard, says national retail sales fell between 5.5 percent and 8 percent during the holiday season compared with last year. "We feel Lubbock has been insulated thus far from some of the hardships that are happening nationally. We've had a good season so far," says spokeswoman for the South Plains Mall Beth Bridges.

Whitworth crunched his numbers and says sales are down compared to last year but not as much as some national advisors are predicting. "The economy in West Texas is not the same as it is on the East and West Coast. It's a little more stable here and it really hasn't reached us yet. Let's hope it stays that way," he says.

With Christmas over, retailers are looking to the New Year. Cardinals tells NewsChannel 11 that, with the Red Raiders playing in the Cotton Bowl, they anticipate a spike in sales of Tech and Cotton Bowl merchandise and hope that gives them a big boost for 2009.

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