Sluggish holiday sales

Sluggish holiday sales

There less than two days before Christmas but it you're really looking for a bargain, you might want to wait a few more days.

Analysts are predicting massive mark-downs on already discounted items during after Christmas sales. Sluggish results his holiday season has retailers scrambling to reduce bloated inventories.

"My impression is that we are having an okay Christmas shopping season, retail season but it doesn't seem to have the juice maybe that things had last year," said economist Paul Brewbaker.

The reasons: A slowdown in tourism and the federal government shutdowns, and six fewer shopping days this year have reduced isle residents' retail appetite this year.

"It's been slowly building. Hasn't been as great as expected. And like you said, I think people are figuring out it's not Christmas yet," said Mitch McEwan, manager at HIC Surf at Pearlridge Center.

The silver lining: Deep discounts.

Some retailers have already reduced prices by 50 percent or more this holiday season. The after-Christmas sales will see mark-downs of 70 percent or more, analysts said.

But Brewbaker is still optimistic about Hawaii's economy and the retail sector, which will both benefit in an upsurge in construction next year.

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