Stores Expect Big Weekend Rush for Holiday Shopping

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Shoppers have their lists at the ready as they make their final push to buy Christmas gifts this weekend.

A survey from the National Retail Federation shows only one-in-ten Americans has completed his or her shopping list, and many haven't even started.

Tom Scott, senior vice president at the Michigan Retailers Association says procrastination is normal this time of year, but it may be more accentuated in 2013.

"We have the very compressed holiday shopping period," he said. "The traditional period between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year is the shortest possible. It's six days and one weekend shorter than last year which was the longest."

It's part of the reason stores like Best Buy have extended their hours to allow more people to fill their carts.

"People kind of had that extra time last year and now people are all of a sudden going, 'wait a minute, I need to get my Christmas shopping done. It's next week,'" said Kasey Palmer, a sales manager at the Lansing Best Buy. "We're going to be opening up even earlier this year. Early morning, late night, we're going to be available."

Best Buy will open at 7 a.m. and stay open until midnight in the days leading up to Christmas, and Palmer says he expects people to take full advantage.

"If you want to avoid a rush, get out of bed, get here early and you'll be able to get in when we don't have as many people here," he said.

Many people are choosing to order online to avoid the crowds, opting to pick up their purchases in-store.

"I figured this way I wouldn't run into the problem of them not having it and not getting what I needed," said Lindsey Fernandez, who purchased two Google Chromecasts.

Kohls stores are staying open for more than 100 consecutive hours, opening at 6 a.m. Friday morning and staying that way until 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

"It really is a great convenience to some of the shoppers," said Tom Scott. "And of course, it gives the retailers the chance to increase their revenue around the holiday season, which is really important."

Scott called the shopping season "well-rounded" and says it's proof the economy is improving, noting sales are running at least as good as initially projected if not better. Nationally, that equates to nearly four percent growth from 2012. In Michigan, that growth is estimated around one percent.

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