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Retailers Ready For Last Minute Holiday Shoppers

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SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) - The clock is ticking for shopping procrastinations, and malls and department stores across metro Detroit say they are ready for the final push.

Retailers say the weekend before Christmas exceeds the crush of people who crowd stores on “Black Friday” — but special sales, discounts and bargains will continue through Christmas Eve on Monday.

Tom Scott, with the Michigan Retailers Association, says the calendar has been on their side this year.

“It’s a full weekend, unlike last year when we really only had a partial weekend. This has been a long season, with 32 days and five full weekends, which is the most you can have between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so it just looks like everything is building toward a big finale,” said Scott.

And retailers expect this weekend to be their busiest of the year.

“There was a survey that said before this past weekend, 89 percent of shoppers still had shopping to do. I didn’t see the percentage of how many people hadn’t even started yet, but it’s actually a fairly significant number. So, there’s a lot of procrastinations who are just finally going out this weekend going ‘Hey, I’ve got to get this done,'” said Scott.

Scott said the final numbers on how successful the holiday shopping season won’t be known until at least late January — after most consumers redeem gift cards they get for Christmas.

A pre-season poll found two-thirds of Michigan retailers expected better holiday sales than last year, the highest level of optimism in a decade.

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