The bad news: it has been one of the worst holiday season for retailers in decades. The good news is for shoppers. As retailers look for ways to bring in cash to buy merchandise for next year, there are incredible discounts. The trick to taking advantage: getting up early, being patient and being prepared for the elements.
The most wonderful time for thrifty shoppers appeared to be Friday at Ford City Mall.
"We only paid $200 and we saved today a thousand," said Tewanda Dobbins, shopper/
Early shoppers to JC Penney found special door-buster discounts from 5:30a.m. to 1 p.m.
Juanita Garcia found a great lounging outfit -- originally $60 -- but Friday it was $16.
"It's pretty good. We save a lot of money. We did pretty good. I was waiting for this," said Garcia.
Friday's mornings bad weather kept some at home until conditions improved.
"Where we were, just getting down the stairs was a job. I have little dog who -- even they slid down. We waited until about 11," said Julie Martinez, shopper.
"Now that the ice is melting, we're seeing a lot more people coming in than there were earlier," said Valerie James, Ford City Mall.
On Michigan Avenue, hearty Chicagoans braved the elements for after-Christmas bargains.
"It's Chicago. What do you expect?" said Ana Timbers, shopper.
"It's actually beautiful out. It's warm and everything is melting. So, no. I mean, when you live in Chicago, you do what you want regardless of the weather. It doesn't keep you from doing things," said Deborah Teven, shopper.
And, yes, there were deals if the retailer had what you wanted. The Cadas say they got a good deal at Sak's.
"We got a $2,000 wall clock, ornamental clock, at Sak's for $300. Plus 10 percent. So actually it's like $260," said Christopher Cada, shopper.
Some shoppers say that waiting until after Christmas to shop has become their holiday tradition. You get the deals and in some cases the gift recipient can select their gift on sale.