Post-Christmas bounty: Stores could haul in $60 billion over the next 7 days.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Retailers shouldn't write off the 2007 holiday shopping season just yet. Consumers are set to bag $60 billion worth of merchandise over the next seven days, experts say.
Much of that spending - nearly half, according to one estimate - is expected to come when consumers cash in gift cards.
Michael McNamara, vice president of research and analysis for MasterCard Advisors, expects that retailers will ring up as much as 17 percent of their December sales in the last week of the month.
That translates to about $60 billion in holiday-related purchases or roughly 12.6 percent of $474.5 billion that the National Retail Federation expects consumers will spend on holiday-related shopping.
"Over the last five years, the post-Christmas week has become much more important because of gift card redemptions," said McNamara.
MasterCard Advisors did not break out how much of the $60 billion will be spent using gift cards. A survey conducted by the retail federation in November estimated that gift card-related sales this holiday season could reach $26.3 billion.
The International Council of Shopping Centers, citing results of its survey of 1,018 consumers this month, said that one-in-five consumers planned to go shopping the day after Christmas. "Gift cards have transformed the holiday-shopping landscape and they have extended holiday shopping well past Christmas Day," said Michael Niemira, ICSC chief economist . "December 26 begins that new phase of the holiday shopping season," he said.
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1. Make sure your shelves are over-flowing with merchandise at full price. You want shoppers redeeming gift cards to buy more than sale and clearance merchandise. So, unload those boxes on the sales floor and get excited about what's in them. Create "Shoppers Curiosity" and sell the new stuff!
2. Keep the sales momentum going this week and next with Bounce Back Coupons. Keep 'em coming back for more!
3. Set a goal for 2008: Offer shoppers new a Bag Stuffer at least every two weeks for the entire year. And don't stuff them in your bags; hand them to customers, talking up what's new and exciting about your store.
Don't miss a single opportunity to turn holiday shoppers into loyal customers!