Retailers are hoping to lure shoppers back this weekend with bargains. Walmart is offering $50 off on the new iPhone 5, plus an extra $30 free iTunes gift card with purchase. A holiday super sale at Sports Authority includes an exercise bike for $179.99 and a set of golf clubs for $149.99, plus buy-one-get-one at half price on Nike fleece apparel. Kohls is picking up the bill for one lucky customer per store every day until Christmas Eve.
BrandsMart USAs sales include a 51-inch plasma television for $399 and a LG Blu-Ray player for $48. But shoppers who waited thinking they would get a better deal during the final rush may be disappointed.
There are not going to be any better deals than they would have gotten last weekend, said Bobby Johnson, chief operating officer for BrandsMart, whose sales were flat for the year heading into the weekend. Its a low-margin category. There is not a lot of room to make deals at the end.
At apparel retailers everywhere, the markdowns are getting more generous as retailers look to clear out inventory. Teen retailer Aeropostale has slashed prices on everything in its stores by 60 percent. Saks Fifth Avenue is cutting prices on some designer clothing up to 60 percent.
For its first season in South Florida, H&M which opened recently on Miami Beach and in Aventura is offering a plethora of discounts like ladies jersey dresses for $10, buy-one-get-one free on winter jewelry, mens outerwear for $20 and kids tops for as low as $3.
People are definitely still very value and deal conscious, said Nicole Christie, spokeswoman for H&M. Once we get the customer, we want to get as much of their shopping done while theyre in our store.
Thats the advantage of Macys extended hours, which leaves it as the only retailer in most shopping malls staying open around the clock. The Macys sale started at 7 a.m. Friday and goes 48 hours straight until Sunday morning, but the stores are open until midnight Sunday evening. Before 1 p.m. Saturday, customers will find deals like $199 diamond earrings and a $59.99 five-piece luggage set. But even in the middle of the night, theyll find $49.99 womens cashmere sweaters and $19.99 mens shirts.
This gives the shoppers the opportunity to get done what they need to get done, when they have the time available, said Melissa Goff, a Southeast spokeswoman for Macys. Traffic will certainly be lighter between 3 and 5 a.m. Its a perfect time for someone who doesnt like crowds.
Industry experts caution that last minute shoppers may have to make compromises.
Yes, there are going to be big deals but it may not be on the product the consumer wants, said Cynthia Cohen, president of Strategic Mindshare, a retail consulting firm with offices in Miami. Retailers have tried really hard to manage inventory well. They want gift cards to be spent on fresh goods on December 26th.
At Walmart in Hialeah Gardens, the iPad Mini and Wii U have both been hard to find. Store manager Arianna Suarez said new shipments will be coming in daily until Christmas Eve. Trucks arrive in the late evening and new products hit the shelves in the wee hours of the morning.
Every day we get a few, but they sell so fast, Suarez said. The could be gone at 3 a.m. or 10 a.m., it depends on how fast people get it. If your children really wants one, it wouldnt hurt to come to the store really early.
Associated Press contributed to this report.