The Business Times

More discounts at US retail Christmas sales

But range of stock on offer has shrunk, say analysts

Published Sun, Dec 21, 2014 · 09:50 PM
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New York

IF there is one sign of an enthusiastic shopper, it is this: A mother holds a baby in her arms so that she can push a stroller full of shopping bags.

And this week, signs like that seemed abundant.

Some of the year's steepest discounts are attracting unusually large crowds as retailers, as they did last year, try to lure last-minute holiday shoppers. But while the sales may be enticing, consumers may not find as broad an assortment of merchandise as they found in forays made right before the holidays in previous years.

"There are plenty of deals to be had, but they may not be the product you want," said John D Morris, a retail analyst with BMO Capital Markets.

Last year, retailers were awash in goods. The government had experienced a shutdown, weather was awful, and consumers seemed less eager to spend money. That forced retailers to slash prices over a broad selection of items just to move inventory, a boon for procrastinators who waited until the f…

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