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Retailers Are Hoping To Cash In Big On Last-Minute Holiday Shoppers

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McCorkel Meghan 370x278 (2) Meghan McCorkell
Meghan McCorkell joined the Eyewitness News team in July 2011 as a...
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GLEN BURNIE, Md. (WJZ)—The holiday shopping season is underway. After disappointing sales over Black Friday, retailers are hoping shoppers turn out as Christmas gets closer.

Meghan McCorkell has an update on how they’re doing so far.

An estimated 14 percent of consumers haven’t even started their holiday shopping yet. Retailers are hoping they give a big boost over the next week and a half.

It was a packed parking lot at Marley Station Mall as the countdown to Christmas ticks away.

When asked, “How much shopping do you still have to do?” Kerrie Calloway told WJZ, “almost all of it.”

“We’re actually almost finished. We only have a few more people to get for and then we’re done,” said Heather Newman.

Many are looking for big bargains.

The season of giving got off to a disappointing start.

According to the National Retail Federation, sales over Black Friday weekend fell 2.9 percent over last year.

The following week saw another drop of 2.9 percent.

Shopper Trak reports a whopping 22 percent fewer shoppers were in stores.

For retailers, the holiday season can provide up to 40 percent of their annual sales.

Industry experts say things are getting better.

“What I have been hearing is that it seems to be picking up. And that’s welcome news to retailers,” said Patrick Donoho, Maryland Retailers Association.

But some shoppers say they are cutting back.

“I’m probably going to spend less than last year. It’s getting tighter everywhere. So yeah, about 25 percent less,” said Paul Vinette.

Even so, analysts expect an increase in sales.

“We’re projecting about a 2-2.5 percent increase in sales over last year,” Donoho said.

Retailers are optimistic those last-minute shoppers will help them bank big bucks.

This is one of the shortest holiday shopping seasons with Thanksgiving falling so late.

This week many local malls are extending their hours for holiday shoppers.

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