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Retailers Gear Up For A Busy Saturday

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(credit: Jupiter Images)

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By Edgar Linares, Newsradio 830 WCCO

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — With one weekend left before Christmas retailers at the Mall of America believe shoppers will be coming in full force.

“This is going to be our second busiest day of shopping this year,” said mall spokesperson Bridget Jewell. “We’re anticipating we will break our record from black Friday this year.”

The Mall of America expects possibly 200,000 shoppers Saturday.

Last weekend’s blizzard forced shoppers to stay home and triggered the mall to close early. Retailers at the mall believe shoppers will make up for the lost time this weekend.

“We’re definitely a spot for places like Iowa, Chicago, Wisconsin,” said Edjuan Miller, a shoe salesman. “Most of our business is out-of-towners, and last weekend it was very dangerous for people to travel. So we’re hoping this weekend it will be good for us and for the customers.”

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Edgar Linares Reports

Some shoppers came Friday to avoid mall traffic on Saturday.

“We’re here today because we don’t want to be here on the weekend,” said shopper Susan Brooks. “We were just saying how crazy it’s going to be tomorrow … It snowed last weekend and there’s one Saturday left before Christmas.”

“We expect heavy traffic in the mall,” said one retailer who will be working an 11-hour day along with several others. “All hands on deck!”

The St. Paul Pioneer Press says the Mall of America will use Twitter to direct shoppers to available parking.

Rosedale Center mall spokeswoman Liz Ostrander predicts Saturday will be “an absolute zoo.” The Roseville mall has been running two huge snow-melting machines 24/7 to clear its 5,600 parking places.

Just a week to go until Christmas also means more sales are popping up as retailers pare down inventory and shoppers snap up bargains.

“Yes, I think they understand the state of the economy and what families are in and I think they’re adjusting to it and I think people are responding to their sales,” said Brent Halvorsen, a MOA shopper.

Shoppers like Lana Tsurkan say shopping the weekdays has been the ticket.

“The weekdays are fine but I’m not shopping during the weekends I think they’re too busy,” said Tsurkan, a Southdale shopper.

WCCO-TV’s Bill Hudson Reports

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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