Super Saturday Entices Last Minute Shoppers

JONESBORO, AR  (KAIT) -- Saturday was the 2nd busiest shopping day of the Christmas season, behind only Black Friday. According to ShopperTrak Corporation, a Chicago-based research firm, 'Super Saturday' accounts for nearly 15% of all Christmas sales.

Gil Cupples, Circuit City manager in the Mall at Turtle Creek, said his store has seen about a 10% decrease in sales. However, January sales figures are not expected to follow the national trend.

Market analysts are predicting a harsh market in January, as more people begin to return unwanted Christmas items. Cupples said his store will not likely be affected.

"January, typically, is not as slow. It is a slower period. Everyone is relaxing. They're done with their shopping and want to stay home, but then you have the Super Bowl kicking in shortly after. It is a slow period, but I don't expect it to be as slow," said Cupples.

Cupples said Circuit City benefits from the Super Bowl because more men want to watch the big game on a big television. He also said the store sees an increase in computer sales with the start of school.

"You'll also have the back to school crowd. You will see several computers increase, but you'll also see an increase in the smaller televisions for dorms," said Cupples.

Another store offering big incentives before and after Christmas is JC Penney. The retailer offered doorbuster deals up through Saturday afternoon.

Sandra Sneed, store manager, said there's no denying the importance of this weekend's sales.

"I would say about the same or more. Customers are shopping closer to that day, and this being the last Saturday before Christmas. It's definitely a key day," said Sneed.

JC Penney is among a number of other retailers that hope the holiday shopping season will provide a little relief. Stores are getting people inside by offering big deals.

"I do think that extra incentives are out there for retailers to capture the business, whether it's dollar off coupons or percents off or doorbusters," said Sneed.

Anna Philway of Earle lives on a fixed income after selling her beauty shop and retiring after 42 years. She said she's having a good time spending less money on more items.

"It's fun to me. I like getting out at the last minute with my daughter, so it's fun, exciting. I like the traffic. It does not bother me," said Philway.

Philway said that many people are worried about the economy, but now is the time to get into the Christmas spirit.

"Go have fun. That's right. Go have fun. Enjoy yourself. Life is too short not to enjoy yourself. That's what I get out of Christmas," said Philway.

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