The parking lot was crowded. Streams of shoppers flowed around the Santa’s House erected in the middle of the center. Shoppers laden with bags jostled each other in long lines stretching from cashiers.
It’s "Super Saturday" at the Grove outdoor mall in Los Angeles, the Saturday before Christmas, when procrastinating gift-buyers rush into stores on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
West Hollywood resident Merage Noorzay, 26, and Beverly Hills resident Amanda Levy, 25, sat flanked by shopping bags by the Grove’s fountain. A towering, ornament-bedecked Christmas tree loomed behind.
The pair, both advertising sales representatives, had come to watch a movie, not to shop.
But they had time to kill, so Noorzay dropped $70 self-gifting a Zara cardigan that was discounted from an original $90 price.
Levy spent $150 in the same store buying herself a cold-weather jacket, a black shirt and a leather skirt that without Saturday’s holiday promotions would have cost her another $100.
Levy also bought a mug and a candle for her family at Anthropologie. Normally, she said, she prefers to shop online.
“All of the malls have been really crazy, so I’ve been putting it off,” she said.
Consumer confidence remains fragile and unemployment continues to be a drag on spending, wrote Bruce Clark, associate professor of marketing at Northeastern University’s Business School, in a statement earlier this week.
The luxury sector will likely perform well, he said. He added that e-commerce giant Amazon “looks likely to be the 800-pound gorilla of the holiday season.”
Brick-and-mortar retailers, however, will likely have to offer exclusive products and in-store deals, along with events and entertainment, in order to draw foot traffic before the holiday season comes to a close.
Data from Ebay Deals shows that 45% of parents plan to gift their children five toys or less, while 60% of parents intend to spend less than $200 on presents for their kids.
The Furby Boom is the top trending toy, followed by the Minion Dave products based on the "Despicable Me" films.
Among parents who plan to buy game consoles, 59% said their children want the Playstation 4 while 25% desire the Xbox One. In the doll set category, Barbie & Ken lead demand, followed by American Girl, then Monster High and Disney Princesses.
The Leapfrog LeapPad tablet seems to be the most-wanted learning toy, trailed by the Vtech InnoTab tablet.
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