NEW YORK (December 19, 2012)--This holiday shopping season, many stores haven't been offering the same blockbuster deals as they have in years past, but instead have dangled offers of free shipping and no-fee layaways to lure shoppers.
But during the final weekend before Christmas, shoppers should expect to see more "70 percent off" and "buy one, get one free" signs as stores try to salvage a season that so far has been disappointing.
Aeropostale has slashed prices on everything in its stores by 60 percent.
Saks Fifth Avenue is cutting prices on some designer clothing up to 60 percent.
Children's Place is offering as much as 75 percent off on its website.
ShopperTrak, which analyzes customer traffic at U.S. stores, said Wednesday it's cutting its holiday sales forecast as shopping has limped along since the Thanksgiving weekend buying frenzy.
ShopperTrak, based in Chicago, said it now expects holiday sales to be up 2.5 percent, down from the projected 3.3 percent, compared compares with a 3.7 percent increase a year ago.
"We were hoping that this past Saturday would be the kick off to good things to come. But it feels like the steam is out of the holiday since Black Friday," said Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak.
The November through December period accounts for as much as 40 percent of retailers' annual sales.