Santa's Bag Will Be Filled With BargainsIf your kid has been hitting you up for a tablet computer, but you haven't wanted to drop a bundle on yet another piece of consumer electronic gear, you're in luck: This holiday season, shoppers should be able to scoop them up at a hefty discount.

Tablets won't be the only deals on retail shelves: Consumers can expect a holiday shopping season heavy on promotional offers as stores offer sweet bargains on all manner of products amid a still-sluggish economy, said John Tomlinson, senior hardlines retail analyst for Investment Technology Group, at a media luncheon titled "Confidence vs. Cynicism: Exploring the Consumer Mindset in Today's Turbulent Times."

Overall holiday retail sales will likely be flat with last year, but some merchants are expected to fare better than others, according to the independent investment brokerage and research firm.

Business at mid-tier players like Kohl's (KSS) and Best Buy (BBY) will trail dollar stores, for one, which have been been luring more consumers hit by tough economic times, and have added more compelling offerings from bigger brands, Tomlinson said.

Retailers are all too aware that consumers, armed with their smart phones, will be price-comparison shopping from their mobile devices more than ever this holiday season. That means stores "are going to be very competitive on price" -- particularly as "Black Friday"-style sales start earlier and earlier in the season, Tomlinson said.

Tablet Wars

In addition to tablet computers, smartphones and video games will be among the big gift items this holiday, said Tomlinson and Matthew Jacob, ITG's senior leisure, lodging and airlines analyst, during the luncheon.

With a host of new tablet computers on the market, including the highly anticipated launch this week of the Kindle Fire for $199 from Amazon, (AMZN) as well as new models from Samsung, HTC and Motorola, expect big holiday price cuts.

Indeed, the market is over-saturated with tablets, which will also drive down the price, Tomlinson said. Already the HP TouchPad "was on sale for $100."

But one wild card could put a damper on tablet sales this holiday: Apple, the ultimate cool kid and market leader, won't launch the next generation of the iPad until after the holidays. So there's a chance that consumers will delay their tablet purchase until that product hits stores, he said.

Also expect to see big discounts on 3D TVs, a product that fell short of sales expectations, as well as flat-panel TVs.

In the battle for consumer electronics' market share, Best Buy and Radio Shack (RSH) will continue to struggle as consumers increasingly view Amazon as the more appealing shopping venue, lured by its breadth of assortment, low prices and convenience, with perks like Amazon Prime, its free-shipping program.

Video game sales should be a bright spot this holiday, fueled by a raft of high-profile game debuts, such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3, Jacob said.

On the negative side, the Nintendo Wii will see a softening in demand, which is bad for business but good for shoppers, since it will also drive down the price. Nintendo opted to wait until next year to debut its new version of the Wii, Jacob said.

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Americans this year need to show congress and wall street that its consumers like you and I that makes jobs and the economy RUN ! The USA is a 2/3rds consumer economy ! TAX BREAKS do not CREATE jobs ! We have had break after break in every state in the UNION and no jobs ! The Bush tax breaks were to create jobs ???? 10 yrs plus and waiting!CITY after CITY ! COUNTY after COUNTY and STATE after STATE!! Americans see now tax breaks create nothing !! People like YOU and I create jobs by buying ! WE BUY and companies have to hire more people to make the things we buy! Thats how a consumer economy runs !The wealth that we HAD is gone in our homes and so on ... NOT from SOC SEC ...Medicare as the congress would like you all to believe !! ITS TWO UNPAID wars for over 10 yrs that has bankrupt this country! 2 BILLION aweek ! Do the math people ! We do not need boots on the ground any more! We have seal team 6 And drones that have done most of the killing! DO not be fooled by the US congress no matter what party you belong to ! We need to pull together and show comngress and wall street we better start seeing jobs real soon ! Christmas is just the message they will get ! BUY AS LESS AS POSSIBLE the only thing these idiots understand is money folks ! Its sure not main street America across this GREAT country!

September 29 2011 at 4:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why in GOD's name would under employed, unemployed Americans who can't even afford a vacation, or gas every week for their car want to go go buy chinese mass produced crap for christmas. What well all should do this year, if boycott Christmas, that's right -- have a great relaxing day, no shopping malls, no credit card bills, buy presents of need instead of want -- none of this mass produced market hysteria. No Walmart, No Target, No malls, no black friday on thanksgiving day. NONE of that crap -- get back to the real meaning behind the holiday, good will toward 's men JOY, You never read of the wise men travelling to the birthplace and stopping off at the 25th street mall to pick up some chinese crap to put of their credit card.

September 28 2011 at 7:50 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to jkennedy806's comment

Well said but all the idiots will still shop til they drop.

September 28 2011 at 9:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

@jkennedy, I thought the same thing about halfway through the article. No one needs a tablet, a 3D TV, video games, etc.

Most Americans still can't tell the difference between a want and a need. Meanwhile, the government still expects those of us who scrimped and saved and didn't go out and buy a house we couldn't afford to help pay the mortgage for others so that these others can buy toys. Sickening.

September 29 2011 at 3:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

remember to get all those import bargains for Christmas. That way next year when you are out of a job you can use the stuff to build a house in the park because your job is going overseas or china may buy your company and you can be working for 50 cents and hour and be glade you have it. Oh forget about miminum wage china will own the politicians and that will be gone.

September 28 2011 at 6:17 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

With Respect: President Obama and Mrs Obama, are eating Lobster & taking Vacations, while their fellow Americans have NO Jobs, No Money, Unable To Feed, Cloth & Educate Their Children, Pay for Insurance, Taxes, Gas & Upkeep on their Cars! Can Not Believe That This Is What The Founding Fathers Intended for American Citizens!!

September 28 2011 at 5:55 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

People are reaching the end of their rope(s). They will either maintain a tight-fisted budget, or say screw it and increase their debt with feel-good Christmas purchases. Either isn't helpful for boosting the economy.

Obama needs to ask Santa for a real Stimulus Program The likeliness of finding one under the White House Christmas tree is at even odds of one passing through Congress -- but instead of pork projects, you just leave a tray of cookies and milk.

September 28 2011 at 5:51 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I do not believe all the bargains in the world will get people to spend more. The main problem is many consumers have been put on the cash basis system due to the Obama credit card reform law. It was suppose to protect the people but did not close loopholes. I live in Pa. and right before this law went into effect I received letters from all the credit cards I have giving me two choices. 1. Agree to the new law and they would close the account and I could contiue to pay off the balance if I had one. 2. Opt out of the new law and I could continue to use the card but they could charge me whatever since I have chosen to opt out of the new credit card law. All accounts are now closed and the few that had balances are paid off. I shop on cash only. With the instability of this economy I am very careful of what I buy. I find That I am talking myself out of the purchase until I have more money. I have put off indefinitely any large purchases where I owe a payment. I have decided to spend the money on the vehicles I have and get more time out of them since they are all paid off.

September 28 2011 at 4:37 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply