Holiday Central

Sales Still Soft - Shoppers Wait For Discounts

By Gregory Levine

Eighteen days to go and with the temperatures swinging like a pendulum, CNBC’s Margaret Brennan looked at how shopping trends are ebbing and flowing.

Brennan reported on “Morning Call” that consumers are value-hunting harder than ever, still waiting for stores to enact more price cuts. She quoted the International Council of Shopping Centers as saying that only 25% of households have finished 50% of their shopping – a figure down some 32% from the same Nov. 30 to Dec. 3 period in 2005.

Which emporiums will feel the price pressure from shoppers? Brennan reported that Black Friday saw enormous sales of consumer electronics, so don’t look to Best Buy or Circuit City. Instead, she says, apparel is the sector most likely to need price cuts: Think Federated Department Stores, and perhaps the already-discounted wares at Target.

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