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Shoppers pack stores on Super Saturday

Posted December 20, 2009

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— The last Saturday of shopping before Christmas, usually one of the busiest days of the year for retailers, was wet and dreary but that didn't keep people from going to Triangle malls.

“It’s a lot of people out here. We had a hard time trying to find parking,” Raleigh shopper Leslie Sears said.

Last-minute shoppers head to malls Last-minute shoppers head to malls

Traffic was heavy with shoppers focusing on big discounts and last-minute gifts.

“She says she's been driving around for 30 minutes, so she felt justified in taking my parking spot. So, I don't know, the Christmas spirit within this lady was not very positive," Raleigh shopper Janet Littlejohn said of a fellow shopper who took her parking space.

At the Best Buy at Crabtree Valley Mall, customers spent Saturday wheeling big ticket items out the door.

“On Black Friday, a lot of times, it's very hectic and very busy in the morning and then it's steady throughout the day. This is just steady and busy all day long,” Ryan Smith, assistant manager of Best Buy, said.

Nine-year-old Aryana Dehghan, who was shopping with her father, found fun ways to pass the time.

“I like to play the Guitar Hero and the Rock Band here. So, it's fun,” she said.

The holiday shopping season so far has been mildly encouraging for retailers who have suffered due to high unemployment and the weak economy that have made consumers reluctant to spend. Most reports put spending slightly above last year's levels.

Some shoppers said they purposely waited until the last minute to buy gifts, hoping a late start would help them capitalize on discounts.

“I’d like to think of myself as a thrifty shopper, and I know the last-minute deals are going on right now,” Raleigh shopper Josh Davis said.

Super Saturday usually accounts for $15 billion worth of sales nationwide, according to Scott Bernhardt of weather research firm Planalytics.

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