Hoping for Bargain Hunters

With holiday shopping falling short of expectations, retailers are reaching out to those who may not have gotten what they wanted for Christmas.

They've been cutting prices and opening stores early Wednesday in a bid to lure more shoppers.

Expectations weren't all that high to begin with this holiday season. And the International Council of Shopping Centers says sales at stores open at least a year appear to be coming in just below the 2.5 percent gain that had been projected.

But the group says there's still time for a surge in post-Christmas buying to turn things around.

Some shoppers are doing their part. One woman at a mall in Indianapolis says she's looking for "things that Santa did not deliver." But she also says she'd hoped prices would have been slashed even more.

The holiday season accounts for up to 30 percent of annual store sales, and for toy sellers as much as 50 percent.

The post-Christmas season has become more important with the growing popularity of gift cards, which don't show up in the sales figures until shoppers redeem them.


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