NEW YORK (AP) -- A company that operates 28 shopping malls across the country is reporting a "very strong weekend," with shoppers taking advantage of sales.
But many last-minute shoppers say they are spending less than they did last year.
Kris Betzold was shopping at an Indianapolis mall today, looking for deals on toys. She says the sales are "even better now than they were at Thanksgiving." But she says the economy has prompted her to be more frugal this year.
A woman at an Atlanta mall today said she's spending $500 on gifts this year, half the amount she normally spends. Dianne Ashford says, "Times are hard."
Some last-minute shoppers said they are holding off as much as possible for even bigger post-holiday sales.
Maureen Whyte, shopping today at Macy's in New York, says she's told her kids that whatever they don't get this week, they'll get later on.
Research analyst Marshall Cohen of the market research firm NPD says retailers will have to be more aggressive than usual with discounts on the days after Christmas. That could mean some stores will cut prices by as much as 80 percent to clear inventory. He says consumers will be "rewarded for waiting."
150-a-14-(Angie Fullerton, holiday shopper from Florida, in AP interview)-"spending this year"-Holiday shopper Angie Fullerton from Florida says she's spending less than she'd like this year because her husband was out of work for quite a while. (24 Dec 2012)
151-a-12-(Chrissy Baptist, holiday shopper from Long Island, New York, in AP interview)-"aren't the same"-Holiday shopper Chrissy Baptist from Long Island says she had to be more careful about what she spent on presents. (24 Dec 2012)
153-r-30-(Sound of shoppers and music from Macy's holiday window, outside of the store in Herald Square)--Sound of shoppers and music from Macy's holiday window, outside of the store in Herald Square. (24 Dec 2012)
APPHOTO MAMD103: A retail store at the CambridgeSide Galleria mall in Cambridge, Mass., advertises holiday sale, Monday, Dec. 24, 2012. Although fresh data on the holiday shopping season is expected in coming days, early figures point to a ho-hum season for retailers despite last-ditch efforts to lure shoppers over the final weekend before Christmas. And with concerns about the economy and the looming "fiscal cliff" weighing on the minds of already cautious shoppers, analyst say stores will need to offer "once in a lifetime" blowouts to clear out inventory. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) (24 Dec 2012)
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