: News

Filed Under:

Spend Early, Spend Well

Play associated audio

By Sabri Ben-Achour

Retailers are pulling out the deals as the holidays approach and early shoppers may get an advantage.

At Filene's Basement in downtown D.C., where the racks are gilded with tinsel, Manager Ernest Gatewood is putting up that other holiday decoration: Sale signs.

"Profits are down company wide but with us cutting prices on things, that should make spending a little bit easier than what it was last year," says Gatewood.

For most items, he's not cutting prices deeper but he is cutting them sooner. According to the National Retail Federation, there's another reason early bargain hunters will get the worm this year: inventories are smaller because many retailers are being conservative.

"Last year, we couldn't tell, but now we have a little bit more of a prediction from what happened last year," says Gatewood.

Deals will still play a big role - and they better says shopper Anika Fountain.

"Oh yeah I'm going straight to the clearance rack, I'm not gonna pay full price."

Like many consumers, Fountain is cutting back. A survey by the Credit Union National Association, or CUNA and the Consumer Federation of America found that 43% of consumers are scaling back their spending. But that's less than last year, when 56% of consumers said they were scaling back. Bill Hampill, Chief Economist for CUNA, says he expects consumer holiday spending may even rise slightly, though it would still be historically low.

The National Retail Federation has a less optimistic prediction: they say holiday sales will be down 1%.

NPR

On Television, More Transgender Characters Come Into Focus

Now that it's more common to see gay characters on TV, is the medium turning to transgender people for fresh stories? NPR's Neda Ulaby looks at TV's crop of transgender and "gender fluid" characters.
NPR

Obama Gets A Taste Of Jiro's 'Dream' Sushi In Name Of Diplomacy

On the first leg of his Asian tour, the president stopped by the iconic sushi restaurant. David Gelb, who directed a documentary about the restaurant, says eating there is amazing and nerve-wracking.
NPR

Bob Dole Returns To Kansas For Gratitude Tour

The 90-year-old former GOP senator says it's an opportunity to meet with friends and thank voters who supported him during his decades-long career in state and national politics.
NPR

FCC To Propose Change To Net Neutrality Rules, Media Report

The FCC is expected to put out new Internet traffic rules that would let content providers negotiate for better service. NPR's Melissa Block talks with Wall Street Journal reporter Gautham Nagesh.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.