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Retailers offering significant discounts in the last sale days before Christmas

sale-signsChristmas shopping. I did a bit of it on Sunday — for Christmas, 2009.

In the absence of throngs of shoppers at many stores, I found myself eyeing lovely $8.00 boxes of holiday greeting cards (18 per box) for a mere $1.60 a box. Lovely extra ornaments (box of 24 in the colors and finishes I love) also $1.60. Another snowman for my collection: 67 cents. A funky purple hat and a funkier stuffed turtle  for one granddaughter, total price $1 each. Even the suet cakes for my bird feeders were discounted to 50 cents apiece. Half price. And this was Sunday, the last weekend shopping day before Christmas.

I hadn’t planned on doing my food shopping on what is usually the most chaotic shopping day of the season other than the insanity that is Black Friday, but quite frankly, it was easy to find a parking up front of each of the stores I visited. Inside there was no frenzied fray to find items, no staggering lines at the cash registers, not much of anything except the kind of deep, deep discounts one expects to see in the January sales and February clearance sales — only these sale prices  are happening before Christmas is even here.

I visited seven stores Sunday, with no problem parking, no lines to stand in for service, and no significant traffic on the roads. Doesn’t seem like Christmas as usual, and there’s no doubt that the state of the nation’s economy is being felt here.

Retailers hoping for a surge in sales seem destined for disappointment. Those of us who plan ahead and love a good bargain will find the best shopping yet to come.

It remains a question, though, as to which retailers will survive the slump otherwise known as Christmas 2008.

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