A new survey by UBS America's Research Group shows Christmas shoppers are remaining cautious, even in the face of steep discounts.
Although shoppers turned out in droves this weekend, many are holding out for just the right deal.
According to the survey, nine out of 10 late-season shoppers say they're waiting until stores hit 50 percent or better off their merchandise before they start to spend.
They may get their wish. Analysts say bigger discounts are likely to come in the next week.
"There's a bit of a game of chicken going on in terms of the customer waiting for deeper mark downs," Delaware Investments' Retail Analyst Lori Wachs explained. "And the retailers thinking that the customers are going to have to give in and come shop."
A lack of early clearance discounts and heavy traffic at the malls signal improvement from last year's season.
Regarding online sales, e-commerce tracker comScore says sales during the week that ended Friday rose 4 percent to $4.64 billion.