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WDAY: The News Leader

Published December 18, 2012, 09:25 PM

Stores are still offering steep discounts to keep customers coming in

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- As it gets closer and closer to Christmas, the rest of the holiday shopping season is critical for stores.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- As it gets closer and closer to Christmas, the rest of the holiday shopping season is critical for stores.

An AP poll shows sales are on the decline nationally. To keep customers coming in, stores are offering steep discounts.

Sign, after sign, after sign. All offering blow-out bargains, as stores in our area find new ways to entice customers.

Nick Bosh/Kmart Manager: "We'll focus on the last minute gifts, like the small electronics, appliances, toys."

That's K-Mart's strategy. It's knocking down prices for its "Freak Out Prices" campaign. Like $100 off this 39" TV. And up to 80% off of diamonds.

Bosh: "some of the items in the past, they've always tended to try to sell the last week."

Target's in the middle of a major marketing campaign too. It's doubled the number of ads it's sending out.

Tina Miller/Target Human Resources: "We've really seen great increases over that too. We also have our competitive ad match."

And its big push, new technology, offering deep discounts.

Overall, holiday sales are up from last year, at 659 billion dollars. But, an AP poll states they've been slumping since Thanksgiving. Perhaps that's why shoppers are seeing this.

Amanda McCann/Wahpeton: "lots of sales, lots more than I have in previous years."

As the last-minute holiday rush kicks-off, shoppers continue to battle for bargains.

McCann: "Matching up the stores, just at Macy's know there was something cheaper at JC Penny's so that's where we are headed right now."

Nancy Birrenkott: "just got a few last minute things, yeah, watching for the deals."

From one sale to the next, it used to be clear-cut. Now, that border between Black Friday bargains and before Christmas sales is blurring.

Shopping in November and December makes up about 40 percent of a store's total revenue.

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