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Billions of Dollars Are at Stake in a Puzzling Holiday Shopping Season


It doesn’t matter much to retailers, who used the early holiday sales to try to offload products before most shoppers had even picked out their Halloween costumes. But it signaled that shoppers are motivated by deals, no matter what they’re for. After two years of limited discounts, shoppers are showing they are willing to hold out for a bargain.Brands are getting on board. “We made too many,” the bike maker Specialized said on its website, telling customers that they can “save BIG.”Rakuten, an online platform that offers deals and shopper rewards, said retailer participation in Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions was the “biggest in the last three years.”Natalie Rodriguez, 47, w …

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