Last Shopping Weekend for Holidays Off to Good Start

Shoppers filled malls as well as department stores on the holiday season’s last weekend prior to Christmas. The weather has cooperated to help increase the prospect for a strong finish to this year’s holiday shopping season that has thus far produced a mixed bag across the U.S.

Crowds in large metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and New York were building in stores by early afternoon on Saturday.

Some holiday shoppers said they had been drawn by large discounts, which have become deeper and longer this year.

Some shoppers said they felt it was the time to shop because of the lower prices they were paying for gas.

An analyst in the retail industry said retailers were expecting a strong last weekend for sales. One mall the analyst visited was preparing for an overflow of vehicles by adding parking spaces, while some retailers were said to be restocking shelves.

Retailers are hoping for big sales in this last weekend to make up for a performance that has been spotty thus far that included a lackluster Black Friday that typically is ranked as the year’s busiest shopping day.

One survey company at brick and mortar stores said it expects a Super Saturday for retailers because of it being the last weekend. The company expects it to surpass Black Friday as the top generator of revenue for 2014. No actual numbers for sales on Saturday were available early Sunday.

Retail says were up 3.2% during November said the National Retail Federation, which trended below the 4.1% forecasted during November as well as December.

Besides certain areas of rain in South Carolina and Georgia and sections of the Pacific Northwest, the weather was generally good on Saturday and expected to be again on Sunday.

Some analysts warned retailers were pushing sales thus lowering margins. Many retailers launched huge discounts prior to Halloween and have kept those through this weekend. Price cuts on apparel have been very steep.

The weekend will be important for many retailers in either earning a profit for the quarter or suffering a loss as this is the single most important month of sales for all retailers.

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