CREATED Dec. 26, 2012
Some major retailers are hoping to see a lot of post-Christmas traffic in the next few days after what's been a disappointing holiday season for them.
The day after Christmas rivals Black Friday for bargain hunting and retailers are hoping for a post holiday shopping burst. Right now numbers are lower than expected. The lowest holiday sales nationwide in nearly 4 years.
Shoppers are taking advantage of door-busters, in-store bargains, and last minute sales.
Still, early numbers show the lowest growth since the great recession of 2008. Sales in the two months before Christmas are up only .7 percent according to The International Council of Shopping Centers.
Many shoppers still found a way to buy for everyone on their list. One of the most popular ways to shop is online.
"This year online was the big surprise. Early indications show they're in 15,16,17 percent growth rates. That's big news for them," Marshall Cohen, Chief Retail Analyst, NPD Group, said.
As always, big ticket items brought in the big bucks. Experts say flat screen TVs, laptops and tablets all did well early on.
The gift that stepped out above the rest didn't even make the top ten last year, shoes.
"The big surprise this holiday season was the footwear business. Running sneakers did really well, classic sneakers did really well," Cohen said.
With the absence of many new or innovative products on the market, many consumers went more practical this year.
"Home furnishing, small appliances, all these items that traditionally aren't big holiday items surfaced this year," Cohen said.
Even though the holiday is over, for some, the shopping has just begun.
"When you stretch to give the right gift, inevitably, you're giving the wrong gift. that means returns," Cohen said.
The National Retail Federation estimates shoppers will spend more than $7 billion dollars on after Christmas deals. That's about 15 percent of total holiday sales.