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Shopping Season Less Busy Than Usual

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Meghan McCorkell joined the Eyewitness News team in July 2011 as a...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Christmas countdown is on. Shoppers are turning out to grab those last few items on their list, but it appears people are cutting back. Analysts are calling it one of the most competitive shopping seasons.

Meghan McCorkell has more on the final rush.

This past weekend is normally huge for retailers but numbers are down this year. That has some extending their hours.

They’ve made their lists and now shoppers are racing the clock to check them off.

“I’m getting all I can in the last minute, I guess,” said shopper David Favazza.

But stores are facing stiff competition from the web.

“Probably did a lot of online shopping, this year at least,” said shopper Alicia Abdei. “I haven’t really been out in any stores.”

She’s not alone.

According to analytics firm Retail Next, store visits this past Friday and Saturday were down seven percent over last year nationally. That’s putting pressure on retailers. Some stores like Kohl’s are now open around the clock to try to lure in last-minute shoppers. Toys-R-Us and select Macy’s, Wal-Marts and K-Marts are also open 24 hours.

And shoppers are looking for one thing.

“Bigger discounts. More bang for your buck,” said Pat Buchanan.

That has stores slashing prices to draw in business.

“Everybody is looking for a deal and everybody’s trying to pinch pennies,” said shopper Diana Hicks. “So you want to get the best that you can for your loved ones without breaking the bank.”

“We’re trying to stretch a dollar into, like, two, three dollars. So finding that, it means a whole lot,” said shopper Maria Amador.

Retailers are hoping deep discounts help them wrap up this holiday season on a high note.

Experts say about 10 percent of shoppers will not finish until Christmas Eve.

Retailers can earn between 30 percent and 40 percent of their annual sales during the holiday season.

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