(STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Updated 12/26/13, 6 p.m.
Ho-ho-humph. For skeptics of holiday hype, here comes the last holiday sale of 2013.
For all the holding off and cutting back that consumers have been doing, retailers are hoping for a huge after-Christmas surge. But, once again, they may be disappointed. That, however, is not going to stop retailers - from Walmart to Macy's to Target - from giving one last Santa-approved surge of after-Christmas deals.
For an early start, some online sales, including at Target.com and Kohls.com, start on Christmas Day. And for sales die-hards, many Walmart and Kohl's stores will open on Thursday by 5 a.m.
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"This is an especially big time for people who got gift cards to come and spend on what they didn't get for Christmas," says Sarah McKinney, a Walmart spokeswoman. Indeed, it's the single-most popular day to redeem Target gift cards, says spokesman Antoine LaFromboise.
Among Thursday's biggest sales incentives and retail deals:
• Buy one, get one free. Macy's rolls out buy one, get one free deals on many men's dress shirts and designer suits, says spokeswoman Elina Kazan.
• Cheap appliances. Sears is offering up to 40% off on appliances for shoppers who use their Sears card to purchase appliances over $499, says spokesman Brian Hanover.
• Free Gas. Kmart is offering its "Shop Your Way" members 50 cents per gallon gas discounts when they spend $25 or more on specific Procter & Gamble products.
• Half-price toys. Target, hit by a credit card and debit card breach that affected up to 40 million consumers, plans sales of up to 50% off select toys and 40% off thousands of apparel items. The sales have no relation to and were not affected by the data breach, says LaFromboise.
• Items 25% to 50% off. Walmart stores will have "thousands" of items at 25% to 50% off, says McKinney. Among them: a Nintendo 3DS XL System for $199.96 - plus a $50 Walmart gift card, with purchase.
• $10 coupons. J.C. Penney will offer coupons for $10 off purchases of $25 of more in a Christmas Day circular and also a coupon that can be printed from its website. The coupons are good through Dec. 28, says spokeswoman Daphne Availa.
• Hot toy deals. Buy one, get one 40% off on some red-hot toys, including Skylanders figures and accessories, at Toys R Us, through New Year's Day. The same offer applies to all video games. The post-Christmas deals are three days longer than last year, says spokeswoman Linda DeNotaris.
• Big incentives. At Kohl's, shoppers who spend under $100 will save an additional 15% off nearly everything in the store, while those who spend over $100 will save an additional 20%, says spokeswoman Jen Johnson.
• 33% off men's wear. Nordstrom's Half-Yearly Sale for men, which reduces prices as much as 33%, begins online Dec. 25 and in stores Dec. 26, says spokesman John Bailey.
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HOLIDAY SALES BY THE NUMBERS
3.9%: Percentage the National Retail Federation still expects 2013 holiday sales to increase
Down 3.5%: Weekly in-store retail sales decline from Dec. 16 through 22 according to ShopperTrak
Locals getting a jump on after-Christmas shopping
Shoppers like Mitzie Smith saw lots of deep discounts at the St. Johns Town Center the day after Christmas.
"I've seen a lot of 50 and 75 percent off. Or buy one get one free," she said.
Erin White was also shopping. She told FCN she knew exactly what she wanted.
"I really want a dress for New Year's Eve and I think that sparkly dresses are best purchased the day after Christmas," she said.
Eva White said she would be using Christmas gift cards. Experts expected billions of dollars to be raked in by stores after gift cards were redeemed.
Smith said the secret to getting your hands on the best after Christmas Day deals was to which she replied: "To start early!"