TODAY | October 15, 2012
>>> this morning on "today's consumer," early holiday shopping. many srs have started to roll out their sales and coupons hoping to entice consumers now before the holiday rush, so how can you make the most of these deals? jean shatzky is today's financial editor and you're poet here to help us find some deals. stores are starting their sales earlier.
>> they are in a little panic. sales are expected to be up 4% with you that's less than last year. they note consumer is feeling squeezed so they have all the gimmicks just to get their share of your money.
>> and the first strategy they are using to get customers is to try to get them to come back, right?
>> come back to the store. they want you in the store, and there's also strategies they are used to go get you to make repeated trips during the season.
>> like, for example, like coupons. you'll see -- you spend $100. you'll get $10 on your next purchase so that entices customers to go back and kohl's does that and places like layaway. pay $5 to get in on the program and they refund that when you get the item and that goes on a walmart gift card so that will also will bring you back. macy's, for example, pay $25 to get a card and get 10% off the entire store to lead up to the holiday through december 31st and that's in addition to other promotions you get.
>> they want them to be your favorite.
>> you'll go back tore a that, so all ways customers will be lured back into stores .
>> the next display here as we talk about the term black friday which has come to be the friday after thanks giving, of course, but now it turns out the shopping is midnight on thursday, right?
>> or even.
>> not really black friday.
>> we saw mid night on thursday last year. this year we're seeing even more stores jump the gun because it turned out to be really productive, and the whole -- the whole gimmick is you have a limited amount of money as a consumer. i want to get that as the retailer, so they are rolling out different ways to do that.
>> jill, i understand stores are still a little bit quiet about what they are offering in terms of black friday deals, right?
>> very interesting, because i thought a lot of stores would be rushing to tell me when they were opening, but i think they don't want to give other companies and stores a leg up.
>> so they are sort of keeping it secret, but a store like old navy. they told me they had so many customers requesting around the country that they open earlier, so they opened last year at midnight, a few years actually, and this year you'll see they are opening more stores at midnight, but mattel toy company, for example, in september launched black friday online in september up to 60% off certain merchandise.
>> so it's interesting how early it's starting.
>> we've seen stores jump the gun on cyber monday as well.
>> so the promotions are sort of losing their value because they may show up on any given day.
>> are you getting a good deal on black friday? a number of studies out there about that.
>> what you're seeing is you're not always getting the best deal on black friday, and it's most important for consumers to understand what the price is likely to be so they know exactly when to buy it.
>> let's move on over as we also talk about new programs. jill, be careful. we're talking about making reservations. apparently even toy companies are rolling things out where you can reserve the hottest toy, including the furby which we're not going to touch because if we do you can't get them kwai
>> very, very scary. stores understand we want things most when we're not able to get them, so they have rolled out all these lists of the hottest toys, the top ten, the top 15 50 and top 100 and allowing us to make reservations to be sure we can get this.
>> just fascinated, the new easy ache oven. a long way since my easy bake oven .
>> these furbys though, this is the one, toys "r" us, certain colors are already sold out.
>> really, like what?
>> the pink and the purple but these are actually from target, and we're revealing this today. it actually started yesterday. target now, you take your smartphone and walk down the aisle, and if you see a toy that you like but you're actually with your child and don't want them to know that you're buying it.
>> take your smartphone up to it. it goes right to the code and links you to the website and ships it for free, and if they have run out of the toy you see the code and can you do that, too. just another way that technology brings us into the shopping world once again.
>> and can you see some of the other toys popular this year. i want to be quiet around the furbys.
>> that tigger is very noisy as well.
>> woke these up when you were doing the niece.
>> thanks for that. and finally you're saying we're seeing a huge jump in e-gifts.
>> gift cards are big. they will up 4% this year but 45% of customers say they will give downloads, books, movies, music. the problem is what do you do with something that doesn't look like a gift?
>> you want to wrap something, right? and unwrap something.
>> you don't want to print out a piece of paper and say here you go. different ways. giving a spa gift certificate , an inexpensive way, a little pad here and doing travel that says pack this or a passport holder so there are creative ways to do it. look at this big lego, actually a container, give a toy gift certificate so give it in this. other wait ways to give it in a way you're not spending that much extra money.
>> all about the presentation, right?
>> all about the presentation.
>> thanks, ladies. did a lot of shopping savings time for