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>>

  • In quake, barrels became quarter-ton projectiles

    In quake, barrels became quarter-ton projectiles

    Saturday, August 30 2014 10:40 AM EDT2014-08-30 14:40:16 GMT
    Napa Valley's seismically reinforced winery buildings generally held up to the largest earthquake to hit Northern California in a quarter-century, but the precious wine piled inside often did not.
    Napa Valley's seismically reinforced winery buildings generally held up to the largest earthquake to hit Northern California in a quarter-century, but the precious wine piled inside often did not.
  • Sesame catching on in southeast US

    Sesame catching on in southeast US

    Saturday, August 30 2014 10:40 AM EDT2014-08-30 14:40:09 GMT
    Sesame is gaining a foothold in parts of the southeast United States, where cotton has long been king, as farmers take advantage of its drought tolerance and a recently developed trait that lets them bring it in...
    Sesame is gaining a foothold in parts of the southeast United States, where cotton has long been king, as farmers take advantage of its drought tolerance and a recently developed trait that lets them bring it in with...
  • US consumer spending dips 0.1 percent

    US consumer spending dips 0.1 percent

    Saturday, August 30 2014 10:20 AM EDT2014-08-30 14:20:02 GMT
    U.S. consumer spending fell in July, with a drop in auto purchases accounting for most of the weakness. Income growth also slowed in July.
    U.S. consumer spending fell in July, with a drop in auto purchases accounting for most of the weakness. Income growth also slowed.
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