CBS 2 Chicago wbbm7801059 670 The Score
New!  CBS Chicago Weather iPhone App: Daily Forecasts, Weather Alerts & Radar Maps!  Free Download »

Local

Holiday Sales Help Retailers Ring In More Than $450 Billion

Holiday shoppers pack the aisles. (credit: Darren Hauck/Getty Images)

Holiday shoppers pack the aisles. (credit: Darren Hauck/Getty Images)

Get Breaking News First

Receive News, Politics, and Entertainment Headlines Each Morning.
Sign Up

CHICAGO (CBS) – Cashmere sweaters marked down from $100 to $30 are one of the many door-buster deals offered as stores opened as early as 7 a.m. Sunday. That’s what’s necessary to get consumers in the door, but as CBS 2′s Vince Gerasole reports, analysts say what really may have them shopping is pent up demand, after several years of holding back.

One day after Christmas, amid signs of deep discounts, stores like the Target on Elston are crowded with bargain hunters.

Manager Lee Crum says you can’t even talk about Christmas sales without including the day after the holiday.

The holiday may be over, but the days following Christmas account for 15 percent of shoppers’ seasonal spending, and even in a healthy sales season stores are doing what they can to entice consumers.

Crum says gift cards are also important to retail business but their sales don’t go on the books until consumers redeem them.

“I am not sure, I am trying to figure out which one looks better,” said Arturo Vazquez as he shops for a hat in the Target men’s section.

Vazquez is among the Americans who received their share of $25 billion in gift cards, most spending an average 25 percent beyond the gifted amount.

Many analysts say retailers entered December already performing strongly and if they do well, that’s just icing on the cake.

“This has a whole different feel from last Christmas,” said manager Crum as he reflects on the mood of the shopper in general.

Dorvella Woods from the North Side is typical of many.

“I feel a lot more at ease as opposed to a couple years ago,” said Woods as she shops for an iPod with her teenage son.

Still, at Lori’s Designer Shoes on the North Side, consumers are sticking to budgets, and managers made sure to offer inventory in all price points.

Signs consumers may be willing to spend if the price is right.

“I think I have been more generous this year than I have in the past couple of years,” said a smiling Edward Alicea.

Last year, the day after Christmas was the second busiest holiday shopping day following Black Friday. We’ll see how this year adds up in a few days.