Few Central Florida shoppers hit the malls and retail stores this morning to take advantage of extreme discounts for after-Christmas sales.
Markdowns of 60, 70, even 75 percent off were found at Orlando Fashion Square, where retailers were trying to get rid of end-of-year inventory.
The Hernandez family took advantage of huge markdowns and discounts after retail stores did whatever they could to make up for lost revenue. Preliminary reports show holiday shopping sales were flat -- far less then what analysts expected and retailers wanted.
"You prepare for next year, then you would come the day after Christmas and shop and then it won't be as expensive when the season starts," Alicia Hernandez said.
A report released yesterday by MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse said U.S. holiday retail sales this year are the weakest since 2008. Sales increased only 0.7 percent, while analysts expected sales to grow 3 to 4 percent.
Despite retailers going the extra mile to get shoppers to spend, Orlando Fashion Square and Florida Mall were not busy.
"People are holding on to their wallets, maybe looking for a better sale and just hoping," Max Hernandez said.
Analysts say Superstorm Sandy, the school shooting in Connecticut and fears of the "fiscal cliff" kept shoppers away.
"Its very shocking. I've been coming to this mall for as long as its been here, and I've never seen it like this," Polly Bachand said.