The days are counting down to the holidays and many consumers still haven't found the perfect gift. Fortunately, Mark Bergen, the James D. Watkins Chair in Marketing at the Carlson School, says there are deals to be found. They'll just be different than those found earlier in the season.
Because retailers don't get the same amount of volume and traffic in the days leading up to Christmas, Bergen says they don't offer the deep discounts and loss-leader pricing like they do on Black Friday.
"Instead what you get are low prices on items that will go out of fashion and style after the holidays," says Bergen. "Also, anything that isn't selling well starts to get discounted before the holidays."
For last-minute shoppers aiming to snap up bargains, Bergen suggests visiting malls where they can shop multiple stores quickly. He also recommends looking for perishable items, both in terms of fashion and goods.
"Anything that isn't going to be worth as much after the holidays will start to drop before the holidays end," Bergen added. "If you're a discount shopper and open to buying things that aren't as fashionable or trendy, you can find some very good deals."
In certain parts of the country where weather has kept shoppers away during normally busy times, over-correcting by retailers scrambling to make year-end numbers could lead to even better bargains in the coming days.
"Don't think the blizzard just took down the Metrodome. It probably fundamentally altered the retail sales pattern of entire Twin Cities area," says Bergen.
After Christmas, Bergen says shoppers can expect to find deals resembling what they experienced on Black Friday.
"What they're trying to do is draw you back into the store. What you'll see again after the holidays are deep discounts on loss-leader items meant to get your attention and get you in the store and then will try to make money on all the other stuff that's around."