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Shoppers Trade Packages for Parks

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The hustle and bustle of the mall was just the opposite of what most people wanted to experience this Saturday.
RALEIGH — We wait all year just to do it. But now that the Christmas shoppingseason is here, not everyone's in a big hurry to join the rush. If youwere out shopping Saturday, you probably noticed the crowds were a littlethinner than expected. So why the meager turnout?

It hardly seems like a typical November day in the park with kids playing, adults lounging and temperatures near 70 degrees. Raleighresident Lori Steele says there was no way she was staying inside whentomorrow there could be ice on her windshield.

Most people didn't. They were getting as far away from the hustle andbustle of the holiday shopping season as they could get.

"That's one of the reasons I didn't want to be at the mall because I justknew the first Saturday after Thanksgiving was going to be torture," SteveVan Gorder admits.

But it was far from that. Cars that normally back up all along CrabtreeValley Mall didn't seem to be an issue. In fact, for the good part of theday traffic outside and inside was pretty much non-existent.

That's not to say people aren't shopping at the mall, but people say it'scertainly not as crowded as they expected the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

"It's not a lot of people," says shopper Lorraine Wilson. "Usually theywould be bumping into each other saying excuse me, excuse me. It's not even crowded or nothing. I saw on TV there were more people than this, but I can get around pretty good today."

Call it shopping burnout or weather frenzy. Some people call it being alittle less commercialistic.

At least this weekend, the place to be seem to be outside. JennineRichetti is just glad to be watching her kids and enjoying thepeacefulness of an Autumn day.

Mall management isn't too worried about Saturday's low turnout. Most stores reported exceptional turnouts Thursday for the biggest shoppingday of the year.

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