Shop ‘Til You Drop

Sale signs were everywhere

Smart shoppers went out immediately after Christmas, looking to score deep discounts and many stores obliged, extending price cuts on computers, toys and clothes.

Saturday's rainy weather didn't dampen spirits of the bargain hunting holiday shoppers. At Westfield Montgomery Mall, Brittany Woods said, "I am a college student, so money is a little tight. I wait for the day after to get presents for my friends."

Sale signs were everywhere from Tyson's Corner Mall to Potomac Mills. Some sought-after discounted items included the Dell Studio 17-inch notebook computer for $699.99at Best Buy online; at Toys 'R' Us, shoppers could buy a Nintendo Wii video game and get a second game for half price; and Wal-Mart was offering a $50 gift card if customers bought a X-Box 360.

And then there were folks out redeeming the gift cards they got for Christmas. Fifty-five percent of moms who shop at Wal-Mart said they like to receive gift cards for Christmas because they can take advantage of the after-Christmas sales. Two out of five mothers said they plan to use their gift cards right away. Sooner is better when the prices are low.

There were also the traditional shoppers returning and exchanging presents that don't quite fit, aren't quite right or are just plain wrong. No hard feelings anymore. With the hard economy, those gift receipts are quite socially acceptable.

Retailers will see if the deals paid off in January. That's when the fourth quarter earning report is released. Profits will also give all of us an indication of how the economy is doing. Stay tuned to see if consumer confidence is up this holiday shopping season.

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