A weak economy and strong winter storms brought total retail sales down between 5.5 percent and 8 percent from a year ago, according to preliminary data from SpendingPulse.
Greencastle stores such as Peebles and Shoe Sensation have reported steady sales following Christmas.
"A lot of people are hitting the sales," said Jim Tucker, Peebles store manager.
The stores are offering bargains to draw shoppers out. Peebles is offering 25 percent off any item in the store including clearance items. Shoe Sensation is offering shoppers 50 percent off regular priced shoes; 20 percent off clothing; and 60 percent off clearance items.
Gift cards are being redeemed, which aid in the steady climb of sales.
"Gift card sales are up," said Brandi Hourihan, store manager at Shoe Sensation.
She added very few customers are receiving money back on unwanted Christmas gifts.
"One in four customers return items. It has been mostly exchanges," she said.
There have been minimal returns at Peebles. Most shoppers are out for the bargains.
"(The sales) help bring people out," said Tucker.