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Mall has small shopping crowd

Josh Kleinbaum

The shoppers made their way through the food court at the Media City

Center, balancing trays of food in one hand and bags of new

merchandise in the other, waiting to pounce on any open tables.

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In the food court, Friday certainly appeared to be one of the

busiest shopping days of the year. But in the rest of the mall, the

large crowds that characterized other area malls were nowhere to be

found.

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“I thought there would be more people,” said shopper Jane Veloso,

38. “I guess it’s just the mall itself. It doesn’t have that many

good stores, so it’s probably not as crowded as other malls. I just

came because my sister needed to drive me.”

Christina Witherspoon, who works at Kids Music Box, said that

customer traffic had been busier than usual in the mall, but not as

much as she expected.

“They certainly haven’t been buying anything from me,” Witherspoon

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said.

The customers that were there took advantage of the sales that are

commonplace the day after Thanksgiving. Veloso said she found good

deals at Sears, and her sister shopped at other stores.

Brent Schoenbaum, a retail analyst for Deloitte Consulting, said

that Friday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year, with

retail sales 12% higher than usual, and businesses usually do 40% to

45% of their sales during the period between Thanksgiving and New

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Year’s Eve. But he said it is difficult to draw any conclusions about

the shopping season from the first day.

“The day after Thanksgiving is not entirely a litmus test for how

the holiday season goes,” Schoenbaum said. “People are looking for

items on sale, and they’ll come when they think it’s the best time to

get them.”

The Media City Center is doing its best to bring in customers, and

on Friday launched its “Money Back Days” promotion, which rewards

customers with a $25 gift certificate to participating stores if they

spend $250 at the mall.

“I generally like it when it’s less crowded,” shopper Randy Coull

said. “There are quite a few deals. At some little crafts shop,

everything’s 50% off. It’s amazing.”


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