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GUILDERLAND: Shoppers make a strong showing

The Retail Council's survey indicated that about 60 percent of merchants said that after-Christmas shopping will play a role in the success of their holiday season.

Retailers have reported to the council that due to mild weather statewide, sale of cold-weather apparel, such as coats and gloves, has suffered, while consumer-electronics items, including televisions and digital cameras, continue to be the top sellers.

"Super Saturday," the last Saturday to shop before Christmas, was expected to be the busiest nationwide, but the National Retail Sales Estimate (NRSE), conducted by ShopperTrak RCT Corporation, reported that it fell just short of Black Friday.

The NRSE reported that preliminary sales estimates on Saturday totaled $8.72 billion, compared to Black Friday's "very healthy" $8.96 billion. However, the NRSE showed that the combined total for the Friday and Saturday before Christmas was $16.28 billion, "indicating a very successful close to the holiday shopping season."

"While it appears 'Super Saturday' finished second to Black Friday this year, the total dollars spent indicate a very strong close to the holiday shopping season," said Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak. "It's possible that consumers may have responded to the anticipated large crowds on 'Super Saturday' and pushed to get their shopping done earlier in the week, or simply taken pains to avoid crowded malls altogether. Nevertheless, retailers should be very pleased with this last-minute boost.""

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