The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

November 24, 2013

Americans not willing to spend without deals

NEW YORK — This holiday season, Americans may not spend their green unless they see more red.

Despite signs that the economy is improving, big store chains like Wal-Mart and Kohl's don't expect Americans to have much holiday shopping cheer unless they see bold, red signs that offer huge discounts. As a result, shoppers are seeing big sales events earlier and more often than in previous holiday seasons.

Retailers are trying to lure shoppers like Marissa Anwar, who has been doing more bargain hunting compared with last year.

The operations consultant, who lives in Toronto and New York City, said the economy "hasn't been great" and she's lost clients. As a result, she cut her shopping budget to $2,800 from last year's $4,000.

"I was a former 'spend-aholic,'''said Anwar, 29. "Now, I want to make sure I have the money before I spend it."

It's a problem that retailers know all too well. Since the recession began in late 2007, stores have had to offer financially-strapped Americans ever bigger price cuts just to get them into stores. But those discounts eat away at profits.

So far, Wal-Mart, Target and Kohl's are among more than two dozen major chains that lowered their profit outlooks for either the quarter or the year. A big reason is the expectation that they'll have to offer huge discounts in order to get shoppers to spend.

There are already signs that retailers are aggressively discounting. Wal-Mart, for instance, on Friday started matching or beating the prices that certain competitors like Best Buy are advertising for some toys and electronics for the day after Thanksgiving — known as Black Friday. Best Buy also plans to match rivals' prices, even after customers have purchased items. And Target, better known for its whimsical advertising, is touting its prices in holiday TV ads for the first time in at least a decade.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • Allina drops celebrated birthing option MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Allina Health has pulled the drain plug on a celebrated birthing option at its 11 Minnesota hospitals and the Mother Baby Center in Minneapolis. Allina says it will no longer offer water births because of new guidance from the Ame

    April 24, 2014

  • Federal study finds mercury in trout caught in three Grand Canyon creeks PHOENIX — With their natural beauty and protected environments, the Grand Canyon and other national parks in the West would seem removed from having mercury in their streams and rivers. But a federal study found small levels of the contaminant in ra

    April 24, 2014

  • Post office sales fight grows SAN FRANCISCO — The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation has issued a report to Congress that criticizes the U.S. Postal Service’s disposal of historic properties and calls for a suspension of all sales until a host of recommendations are implem

    April 24, 2014

  • Lawmakers jockey over budget surpluses WASHINGTON — Less than 24 hours after the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team beat cross-state rival Louisville to advance to the Sweet 16, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray asked state lawmakers for $80 million to renovate Rupp Arena, the iconic bui

    April 23, 2014

  • Minn. lawmakers seek to enhance privacy protection ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota lawmakers are on the verge of cracking down on public employees who abuse their access to citizen data. A measure being negotiated in a House-Senate conference committee would do more to expose and punish data snoope

    April 23, 2014

  • Republican activists push party on gay marriage LAS VEGAS (AP) — As bans against gay marriage crumble and public opinion on the issue shifts rapidly, some Republicans are pushing the party to drop its opposition to same-sex unions, part of a broader campaign to get the GOP to appeal to younger vot

    April 23, 2014

  • mfp church abuse Archbishop deposition on abuse made public Archbishop John Nienstedt says no one reprimanded who handled abuse

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Legislature takes aim at new lottery games Legislators angry lottery didn't tell of new games

    April 22, 2014

  • NE ski resort extends season Lutsen still has two to four feet of snow on its runs

    April 22, 2014

  • Mpls police looking for pit bull, owner Man injured, dog killed when attacked in park

    April 22, 2014

Press-Plus Subscribe
Sign In
Featured Ads
AP Video