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Holiday Central

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  • Prices Key for Toy Sellers with Santa on a Budget Thursday, 1 Oct 2009 | 3:15 PM ET
    Parents shop in the toy aisle at a Target store, Kingston, Massachusetts

    Toy retailers and makers plan to make the best of it by offering more deals and cut-price versions of more expensive toys that they hope will spur parents to spend even if they're scrimping elsewhere. Two influential lists of expected hot holiday toys show only one over $100.

  • It's Official: Holiday Sales Stunk Wednesday, 14 Jan 2009 | 4:20 PM ET

    Retailers threw a holiday party, but no one came. The latest data on holiday sales continued to confirm what most have been suspecting: it was the worst holiday season for retailers in decades.

  • Hard Times: Gift Cards Are Used For Cash, Necessities Tuesday, 30 Dec 2008 | 11:12 AM ET

    As retailers try to lure shoppers with after-Christmas sales, a harsh reality is emerging: Shoppers are cashing in their gift cards for cash instead of scooping up discounted merchandise.

  • Last-Minute Gifts for Her … and for Him Tuesday, 23 Dec 2008 | 5:04 PM ET

    If you're that guy who waits until Christmas Eve to do his shopping, no sweat! We've got some great gift ideas for you that won't scream I-just-bought-this-it's-still-cool-to-the-touch-from-the-trunk. Whether it's luxurious cashmere for her or a pocket-sized videocamera for him, we'll help you be the hero this holiday season. Check out these great last-minute gift ideas.

  • A Third Of Americans Under Holiday Spending Budget Monday, 22 Dec 2008 | 3:45 PM ET

    Folks weren't kidding when they said they were going to make a budget this holiday season. A recent survey by BIGResearch found more than half of Americans sticking to their budget this holiday season.

  • So you're short on cash this holiday season, but you're not the knitting type. Hey, you don't have to cancel Christmas! DIY isn't just for knit scarves and tins of sugar-dusted prunes, you know. There are thousands of great gifts you can make right from your computer. How about a video scrapbook or an origami peacock? Here are a few ideas to get you clickin' this Christmas.

  • U.S. retailers are going to be pulling out all the stops this weekend — the last weekend before Christmas — with everything from jaw-dropping markdowns to round-the-clock openings in a last-ditch attempt to save the season.

  • Geek Chic: 10 Cool Gifts for the Gadget Lover Thursday, 18 Dec 2008 | 6:17 PM ET
    2.4GHz Washable Wireless Keyboard

    Looking for that perfect gift for the gadget lover who has everything? Beyond the iPhone and Wii, here are 10 of the coolest gadgets this holiday season. Everything from a solar-paneled laptop bag to a washable keyboard and — wait for it — a touch-screen universal remote.

  • What Recession? Moms Will Still Brawl for These Hot Toys Wednesday, 17 Dec 2008 | 1:18 PM ET

    There may be a recession going on but don't look for signs of it in the toy aisle: There may still be mom-to-mom combat for the hottest toys — that is, if you can even find them. Click here to find out what the hottest —and most elusive — toys are this year.

  • Airline Baggage Fees Deliver Boost to UPS Tuesday, 16 Dec 2008 | 3:57 PM ET
    A hydraulic hybrid UPS delivery truck is seen with the Philadelphia skyline in the background during a demonstration in Philadelphia, on Friday, June 23, 2006. The UPS truck uses an Environmental Protection Agency patented hydraulic hybrid technology that the EPA claims will increase fuel efficiency by 60 to 70 percent. Full hydraulic hybrid technology means that the conventional transmission and transfer case have been removed and replaced with a hydraulic drivetrain. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

    As holiday travelers prepare to go over the river and through the woods for the holidays, more folks are looking for ways to avoid airline fees for checking extra baggage. This has been a boost for United Parcel Service's business.

  • Online Retailers Ramp Up Deals as Holidays Near Monday, 15 Dec 2008 | 3:56 PM ET

    If you're an avid online shopper, your email inbox is likely stuffed with discount offers as online retailers gear up for what will likely be the busiest shopping day of the holiday season.

  • Stupid or Cool? Check Out These 12 Weird Gift Ideas Monday, 15 Dec 2008 | 11:57 AM ET

    From that TP dispenser with the old guy holding his nose to Jesus action figures, there’s a lot of really weird stuff out there and it’s a fine line between stupid and cool. Here are 12 of the weirdest gift ideas. Check 'em out, then you decide: Are they stupid or cool?

  • Are Luxury Retail Stocks a Diamond in the Rough? Wednesday, 10 Dec 2008 | 10:57 AM ET
    Tiffany Gift Box

    The luxury sector is usually resilient during economic downturns but this one is so severe, it’s taken luxe retailers — and their stocks — with it. So, does that mean it’s time to add a few baubles to your portfolio?

  • Shoppers Want 70% Off—and Something Fuzzy Wednesday, 3 Dec 2008 | 9:42 AM ET

    More shoppers hit the stores over the Thanksgiving weekend than last year and they spent more, according to the early numbers, but with discounts already up to 70-percent off, margins are getting crunched like a candy cane being eaten by an impatient child.

  • The Christmas Tree Indicator: Myth or Magic? Tuesday, 2 Dec 2008 | 4:47 PM ET

    Is your wilingness to "deck the halls" linked to the economy? A look at the "Christmas Tree" indicator.

  • Are Toys Too Pricey for a Recession? Tuesday, 2 Dec 2008 | 10:11 AM ET

    The retailer Syms has long said, "An Educated Consumer Is Our Best Customer", but in these times where shoppers are looking to stretch their budgets, it looks as those most people are becoming educated customers.

  • Rustling Through the Bargain Bin for Retail Stocks Monday, 1 Dec 2008 | 3:48 PM ET

    Sweet deals inspired shoppers to hit the mall this weekend, but it doesn't look like the buying binge was enough to save the holiday season. But what's the outlook for investors beyond that. CNBC talked with two retail analysts to get their take.

  • Cyber Monday

    Online retailers are rolling out the deals for "CyberMonday," and Blue Nile, an online jeweler, is no different.

  • The price of gallon of gasoline may be going down but, whew! Have you seen the price of true love? If swans a swimming and lords a leaping are on your shopping list this year, brace yourself: You're in for the most expensive Christmas ever!

  • How Low Can Retailers Go? Saturday, 29 Nov 2008 | 3:20 PM ET

    With the early signs pointing to a lackluster start to the holiday selling season, many are wondering how low retailers can cut their prices.

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