New York - With the last weekend before Christmas upon them, retailers are pulling out all the stops to grab the estimated 50 percent of shoppers who still haven't completed their holiday purchases.
According to a survey by The National Retail Federation (NRF) and BIGresearch, the average person had only finished 49.5 percent of their holiday shopping by the second week of December.
About a third of holiday shoppers plan to complete their list before tomorrow (Dec. 18), the survey showed, although Friday, Dec. 24, is expected to be the second-busiest shopping day next week.
"With the big day falling on a Saturday this year and a lot of shopping left to be done, retailers will continue to push aggressive promotions in the weekdays leading up to it, hoping to remind shoppers they only have one more weekend to shop," observed NRF president/CEO Matthew Shay.
Indeed, retailers are offering a slew of last-minute specials and e-tailers are extending free-shipping offers to as late as Dec. 21.
At Best Buy, final holiday promotions include bundles and free shipping on iPad and accessories; a 37-inch Dynex LCD-TV for $350; an Insignia IP-ready Blu-ray Disc player for $80; and Nintento Wii consoles (in white) for $180.
Best Buy Mobile is also offering free overnight shipping for online purchases of Google's second-generation Nexus S smart phone for T-Mobile, which the retailer launched exclusively on Dec. 16.
"Last minute shoppers are looking for speed, selection and value," said Best Buy Americas president Mike Vitelli, president of the Americas for Best Buy.
Walmart, which expects this weekend to be its busiest of the holiday season, is offering such CE specials as a 32-inch Samsung LCD-TV and $50 gift card for $348; a Wii bundle plus a $75 gift card for $199; and
PND with a $30 gift card for $99.
The discounter will also continue to price match competitors' ads at the checkout counter.
"Customers responded so well to our day after Thanksgiving event that we're offering them another big opportunity to enjoy similar savings on gifts still on their shopping lists," said Gary Severson, entertainment senior VP for Walmart U.S.
At Amazon.com, weekend deals will include a Nikon Coolpix digital camera with built-in projector for $129; Kodak's Zi8 HD pocket video camera for $99; Droid smartphones for as little at 1 cent with contract; and a $25 gift card with the purchase of a 4
-generation 8 GB iPod touch.
Online merchants are also getting their last licks in by touting today as "Free Shipping Day." The concept, created three years ago by Luke Knowles, founder of the aggregate-offer site FreeShipping.org, is expected to draw some 1,000 e-tailers this year including Dell, Sears.com and TigerDirect. Knowles said the cyber event is intended to extend the holiday shopping season for online retailers and give procrastinating consumers one final chance to surf the Internet for holiday deals.