Shoppers hope to cash in on last minute Christmas deals - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Shoppers hope to cash in on last minute Christmas deals

Cedar Falls (KWWL) - Nationally experts are saying it's a red Christmas for retailers, as in red ink. Last minute shoppers are heading to the nation's stores and malls on this day before Christmas looking for those sweet deals.

However, for retailers the season was essentially over long ago.  Many merchants who are on the edge of survival are already tallying up just how dismal their sales were in a season expected to be the worst in decades.

Experts say retailers are hoping that their unprecedented discounts will lure in those late spenders.

"What really distinguishes this year from previous years is the incredible level of wheeling and dealing.  When a promotion ends, another one begins," Todd Marks of Consumer Reports said.

In Christmases past, the retail industry relied on a surge before and after Christmas to help save the season, but this year that isn't expected to help.

Locally shoppers are continuing to shell out the green this Christmas. Area stores say they are not feeling the full impact of the downturn in the economy.  

Main Street Cedar Falls is also getting its fair share of last minute Christmas shoppers. Many stores are staying open until three this afternoon to help those looking for those specialty items.

The weather has played its part over the past month keeping some shoppers away, but shop owners say it's still been a profitable holiday season.

"It's all or nothing.  They are all in at one time and then the snow is keeping people away. Then the first sign of good weather they are all back out in full force so I think it's been a pretty good year compared to what's going on in the rest of the nation," owner of "Vintage Iron" Julie Shimek said.

Shop owners say the person they have seen the most today is fathers with their kids, picking out that last minute present for mom.

With mounds of inventory still left to sell, merchants are expected to deepen the discounts even more the day after Christmas.

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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