Walmart, other retailers try new strategies

- With the holidays nipping at our heels, retail experts are analyzing this year's shopping trends. By some estimates, brick-and-mortar sales will suffer in favor of their sleeker, more convenient competitor, online shopping.

Walmart is the latest retailer to think outside the box by raising prices online and slashing them in store as a way to drive customers inside.

For example, the 138-ounce version of Tide detergent lists for $10.42 at walmart.com but $8.97 in the store. You save almost a dollar on the family-size box of Ritz Crackers in store. And Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is $5.50 for the five-pack online but $4.50 if make the trek to your nearest Walmart.

Barnes and Noble is having a difficult time competing with Amazon. So it is offering the one thing Amazon can't. The Eastchester store now has a full-service restaurant that offers lunch and dinner.

Macy's is trying to stop the hemorrhage, too. In-store sales have dropped 3.6 percent but online sales are up double digits.

"What retailers really need to look at is instead of looking at online versus stores, they really should be putting together a strategy for consumers that make it seamless—whether they're shopping online or in a store—but it really meets the needs of the shoppers," said Shelley Kohan, the VP of retail consulting at RetailNext.

By some estimates, shoppers will spend $1,226 this holiday season but just $430 on gifts for other people. That equates to about 14.7 gifts doled out—down from 22 gifts in 2006.

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