ROSEVILLE (WCCO) — Three weeks after Black Friday’s mad rush, some sanity has returned to shopping malls and savvy holiday customers have it figured out.

“The closer we get to Christmas, the better it is,” said Ilene Peterson.

Peterson and her husband Roy were checking out the stores at Rosedale mall. The couple, like so many, procrastinated for a reason: the longer they wait, the better the deals.

“I was here on Monday and there’s a difference in the prices already, I noticed. Ten to $15 off some of the things we purchased compared to Monday,” Ilene said.

Since Black Friday’s huge opening weekend, retail sales nationwide have softened. According to the International Council of Shopping Centers the figures are down by 2.4 percent.

So, to boost more buying, many retailers are pitching Saturday as “Super Saturday,” which is something normally reserved for the final weekend before Christmas.

“Yes, I think there are a lot of sales going on now. Lots of good ones. I’ve seen 40 percent off,” quips shopper Nan Ramlet.

Many store’s discounts go deeper still, 60, 70 or 75 percent off full retail, as retailers hope to move their remaining holiday inventory.

To do that, stores like Macy’s will be keeping the lights on late until midnight and re-opening early. Others have plans to bring in another round of early bird “door-busters.”

One reason the traditional brick-and-mortar stores get more desperate as the days click down is found on your computer. Online retail is taking a bigger piece of the pie. On Friday, many were offering free shipping on all online orders.

“I think that’s the easiest way to go these days. You can avoid the crowds and there’s more selection so I think it’s easier,” said shopper Katie Ramlet.

With just eight full shopping days to go, stores and on-line sellers will be pulling out all the stops. That means posting a procrastinator’s favorite four-letter word on their store windows — SALE!


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