Manageable malls keep shoppers' spirits high
Posted December 24, 2013
Cary, N.C. — Those who had a last gifts to get found manageable traffic and crowds Tuesday at Triangle malls and shopping centers.
"I expected worse. I really did," Cathy Byman said. She was picking up gifts at Toys 'R' Us in Cary's Crossroads Tuesday morning.
"Getting here was not that big a deal, and I found a parking space pretty easy," she said.
Ashley Cox finished most of her shopping online and early, but she surveyed some Christmas Eve discounts on Tuesday.
"I'm looking for the best deal, the best bang for your buck," she said.
Many retailers, knowing that Dec. 26 is a big shopping day for sale-seekers, started advertising after-Christmas sales even before Christmas Eve dawned. Stores, which typically don't discuss their discount strategy during the season, are hoping those sales would lure last-minute shoppers.
Sales at U.S. stores dropped 3.1 percent, to $42.7 billion, for the week that ended on Sunday compared with the same week last year, according to ShopperTrak, which tracks data at 40,000 locations. That follows a decline of 2.9 percent and 0.8 percent during the first and second weeks of the month, respectively.
Overall, ShopperTrak estimates that holiday sales at stores so far are up 2 percent, to $218.4 billion, compared with the same period last year. That's below the 2.4 percent forecast for the two-month period, but the company is standing by that estimate with a little over a week left before the season ends.
Rich Michael, who was picking up a small gift for his wife, observed, "Nobody's buying. You don't see anybody with packages in their hands."
David Ginyard was one of those window shoppers. "I just came out to see what the crowd looked like and it looked real good up in there," he said.
Open on Christmas Day
Malls and most big box stores and boutiques are closed on Christmas Day, but 24-hour pharmacy chains CVS and Walgreens will be open. Some locations have limited hours.
For those who work up an appetite, many locations of Dennys, IHOP, McDonald's and Starbucks are open on the holiday.
After-Christmas shopping hours
The Streets at Southpoint and Crabtree Valley Mall are closed Christmas Day. Both malls re-open Thursday at 8 a.m. and are open until 9 p.m. that evening. Mall hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Triangle Town Center and Cary Town Center are closed Christmas Day. The malls are open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 26, 27 and 28.