Retailers saw a steady flow of last-minute shoppers on Saturday, the day before Christmas, putting a moderate cap on a pre-holiday season that started with a bang and has since waned.
Industry watchers are forecasting a stronger holiday shopping season than expected, fueled by deep discounts at the start of the season, unusually warm and dry weather, a late Hanukkah, and an extra shopping day.
On the last shopping day before Christmas, the scene at several malls in different parts of the country was busy, but neither shoppers nor retailers seemed overwhelmed.
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"The last-minute Charlies have come out," said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at the NPD Group. "Stores are busy, but not bustling."