The Willis Report: Retailers battle for your holiday dollar - New York News

The Willis Report: Brick-and-mortar retailers to battle for your holiday dollar

Posted: Updated:

By Gerri Willis
FOX Business Network

Holiday sales aren't expected to shoot the lights out this year. In fact, according to the National Retail Federation's annual survey of shoppers, each of us will spend $738 on gifts, décor, and greeting cards -- two percent less than last year.

But the retail industry's pain is going to be your gain. That's because shop owners are more determined than ever before to steal business from rivals, and that is going to add up to big savings for cost-conscious consumers.

TAKING ON THE DOT-COMS

Especially aggressive this year are brick-and-mortar retailers who are focused on getting their revenge on online retailers that are growing market share and sales every year.

Online retailers are still a small proportion of overall holiday sales. Last year, online merchant sales totaled $42.3 billion, versus nearly $580 billion in total sales, but sales growth for the upstarts is typically in double digits and there is no reason to think online retailers will settle for less this year.

As a result, Best Buy is matching prices offered by major online retailers and local brick-and-mortar competitors. The change in policy is having a slow but steady positive impact for the electronics retailer.

EMBRACING THE 'SHOWROOM'

Even more dramatic, the retailer is running ads touting the chain's stores as "the ultimate holiday showroom." And, that is a surprising invitation to consumers to use the brick-and-mortar store to check out products that they could also buy online.

In the past, those products would be cheaper in the virtual world, but now Best Buy is betting that even committed online shoppers may make the switch because the price advantage has disappeared.

And Best Buy isn't the only big box retailer looking to take a piece of the online retailers' pie. Toys 'R' Us will match online retailers' prices, including Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and BestBuy.com.  Staples has announced it will match Amazon prices in stores and online.

LATE START

Another factor that may work in consumers' favor: Because Thanksgiving is a week later than usual and the holiday shopping season is compressed, some retailers are starting promotions earlier than usual. And, you can bet that markdowns will be steep this year as managers try to work down inventories as quickly as possible.

All in all, even if your budget for the holidays is smaller than last year, you may get more for your money. And one thing is for sure, the best deals will continue to go to those who wait to buy.

Interact with Gerri on Twitter @GerriWillisFBN and Facebook for more information, or to voice your concerns and questions.

  • BusinessMore>>

  • Hillary Clinton in Iowa stirs 2016 speculation

    Hillary Clinton in Iowa stirs 2016 speculation

    Sunday, September 14 2014 8:10 PM EDT2014-09-15 00:10:50 GMT
    Hillary Rodham Clinton is returning to Iowa to pay tribute to the state's retiring Democratic senator as anticipation builds over the possibility of another presidential campaign.
    Hillary Rodham Clinton, making her return to Iowa for the first time since the 2008 presidential campaign, implored Democrats on Sunday to choose shared economic opportunity over "the guardians of gridlock" in an...
  • Sweden shifts to left in parliamentary election

    Sweden shifts to left in parliamentary election

    Sunday, September 14 2014 7:40 PM EDT2014-09-14 23:40:47 GMT
    Sweden's parliamentary election opened Sunday with polls showing the left-leaning Social Democrats poised to return to power after eight years of center-right rule.
    Sweden's Social Democrats were poised to return to power after a left-leaning bloc defeated the center-right government in a parliamentary election Sunday that also saw strong gains by an anti-immigration party.
  • Silicon Valley struggles to speak FDA's language

    Silicon Valley struggles to speak FDA's language

    Sunday, September 14 2014 6:20 PM EDT2014-09-14 22:20:45 GMT
    From Apple's new smartwatch that tracks heartbeats to contact lenses that measure blood sugar - Silicon Valley is pouring billions into gadgets and apps designed to transform health care. But the tech giants...
    From Apple's new smartwatch that tracks heartbeats to contact lenses that measure blood sugar - Silicon Valley is pouring billions into gadgets and apps designed to transform health care. But the tech giants that have...
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices