Local News

Shoppers Trade Packages for Parks

Posted November 29, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— We wait all year just to do it. But now that the Christmas shopping season is here, not everyone's in a big hurry to join the rush. If you were out shopping Saturday, you probably noticed the crowds were a little thinner 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. Raleigh resident Lori Steele says there was no way she was staying inside when tomorrow there could be ice on her windshield.

Most people didn't. They were getting as far away from the hustle and bustle 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 just knew the first Saturday after Thanksgiving was going to be torture," Steve Van Gorder admits.

But it was far from that. Cars that normally back up all along Crabtree Valley Mall didn't seem to be an issue. In fact, for the good part of the day 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's certainly not as crowded as they expected the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

"It's not a lot of people," says shopper Lorraine Wilson. "Usually they would 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 a little less commercialistic.

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

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