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Discounts abound as stores try to salvage season

  • A shopper carries a bag past a holiday display at the Apple Store at the Derby Street Shoppes in Hingham, Mass. Friday, Dec. 7, 2012. This holiday shopping season, stores haven’t been offering the same big discounts as they did in previous years as they tried to lure shoppers in with other incentives,but during the final days leading up to Christmas, shoppers will see more of those jaw-dropping “70 percent off” sale signs as stores try to salvage a season that so far has been disappointing. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

NEW YORK — When it comes to fat holiday discounts, better late than never.

This holiday shopping season, many stores haven't been offering the same blockbuster deals as they have in years past. Instead, they've 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.

Teen retailer Aeropostale Inc. has slashed prices on everything in its stores by 60 percent. Rival teen chain American Eagle Outfitters is offering 40 percent off all purchases. Saks Fifth Avenue is cutting prices on some designer clothing up to 60 percent. And Children's Place, a children's clothing chain, is offering up to 75 percent off on its website.

The discounts are aimed at luring shoppers like Jennifer Romanello, who lives in Rockville Centre, N.Y. Romanello, a former publishing executive who was laid off in June, is planning to spend $400 less on holiday gifts this season as she spent a year ago. She said she'll be looking for deep discounts when she heads to stores this weekend.


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