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This year especially, stores will be heavily discounted due to a disappointing increase in holiday sales of only 0.7 percent, rather than the projected 2.5 percent, according to an article by CBS.

This makes it the worse season since 2008, which could be due to various factors.

"Whether it was Hurricane Sandy and the need to spend on the home, whether it was the tragedy in Connecticut and took away the feel good factor — it was a confluence of events that led to a 'it should have been better' holiday season," said Dana Telsey, a retail analyst for CBS.

If a sale isn't at least 50 percent off, consumers shouldn't consider it a deal after Dec. 26, according to a study done by Nerd Wallet.

Of the 117 major national retailers that were analyzed, 68 percent offered at least one large item that was discounted 50 percent or more, according to a 2009 study.

The most discounted items are clothing, cosmetics, holiday decorations, toys, shoes, clearance and bags, since the demand for these items fall after Christmas. Evergreen items — or things hat are not seasonal — are unlikely to be discounted. But winter clothing items, or toys like LEGOs suddenly have little use and stores want them out.

For example, this year Calvin Klein offered up to 75 percent off on all clearance, while Tommy Hilfiger had 30 percent off storewide.

Huge discounts are offered because if retailers don't eliminate leftover stock soon after Christmas, these items have to be sent to discount stores, outlets or donated to charities.

But these discounts could deepen even more as retailers become more desperate for sales. There will be new data from retailers next week, which could show improved sales and improved news for companies.

EMAIL: alovell@deseretnews.com
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