US shoppers head out to stores looking for bargains after the Christmas holiday. Sasha Salama reports.
REPORTER: The nation's retailers are focusing on the final week of 2011 as make or break for their bottom lines. John Long is a retail analyst with Kurt Salmon.
JOHN LONG: "The week between Christmas and New Year's is one of the most critical weeks of the holiday season for retailers because it really closes out the four or five weeks of huge holiday selling."
REPORTER: So far, Kurt Salmon says holiday sales are up 3.6% over last year, right in line with expectations. But retailers want to do even better, so they're slashing prices in hopes that consumers will shop til they drop.
SHOPPER: "I think most of the people are looking for big discounts nowadays."
REPORTER: How big a discount do you want to see?
SHOPPER: "As much as I can get."
REPORTER: Analysts expect consumers to spend the most on electronics, sporting goods, apparel and accessories. And retailers are offering huge discounts to try and attract those consumer dollars. Bill Pandolfo is a manager with J.C. Penney.
BILL PANDOLFO. SALES SUPPORT MANAGER, J.C. PENNEY: "Throughout the store, we're offering 50-75% off much of our clearance in the store which is our seasonal merchandise. We're making way for our new merchandise to be coming in."
REPORTER: Even though U.S. unemployment stands at 8.6%, consumer confidence hit an eight month high in December. That may be a sign the nation's retailers can achieve what's become their goal - to ring up almost one-quarter of all their revenues during the holiday season. Sasha Salama, Reuters.