“Pick Your Day”

One new thing that the J.C. PENNEY company is offering this year is a “Pick Your Day” event, which gives shoppers a 20% discount on any single day from December 19 through December 24, and a program “Know before you go”, that is trying to help consumers avoid a wasted trip to the store.

The program lets shoppers go online to go find out if the product they want is in the store and in the right size.

The retailer expects more last-minute shoppers because Christmas Eve is on a Friday this year.

In general retailers are focusing on convenience in the home stretch.

Some stores will offer 24-hour shopping. TOYS R US is staying open for 88 consecutive hours through 10 p.m. on December 24 and offering “Midnight Madness” deals for night owls who shop from midnight to 6 a.m.

With Christmas falling on a Saturday this year, customers have the perception that they have more time to shop and have been procrastinating a bit.

Sears is planning more targeted promotions: reach out to customers, especially its loyalty club members, through e-mails and online promotions to inform them about deals on popular items.

Sears said customers have shown interest in discretionary items like jewelry, which it is promoting aggressively.

Sears will continue pushing its “buy online, pick up in store” offer to win last minute shoppers with convenience.

After realizing that “the consumer is definitely showing propensity at the low end,” the Best Buy will now promote lower-priced 32-inch TVs and making price adjustments in its computer section.

To boost customer traffic, Best Buy will offer free smartphones every day for the remainder of the holiday season. Customers will still need to sign the 2-year service agreement to get the phone.

Target is “making sure to get everything out of the back room” at stores and making sure the displays at the end of the aisles “look gifty.”

The company is also keeping the doors open late, with 85% of stores offering extended hours, Target said. Many will stay open until midnight.

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