The final Christmas shopping days

December 21, 2009 They had been counting on the last weekend before Christmas to beef up their holiday sales. And so while some were participating in the Big Dig others had the Big Catch-up.

From Center City, to the Big Box Stores, to the area's mega malls, Monday was a day to catch up on Christmas shopping, and make up for a Saturday that was supposed to be the biggest of the season. Some had their work cut out for them.

Always busy with those who've put off buying presents, the final days before Christmas this year are bound to be even busier stores packed with shoppers who spent the weekend stuck in the snow.

"Since the snow on Saturday I wasn't able to go out and do my last minute shopping. So here I am on my lunch hour, running around, and drinking fattening hot chocolate," said Anna Toomey.

Reeling from Saturday's largely empty parking lots, and a Sunday slowed by piles of snow some retailers are extending sales, others extending hours. Toys R Us, Wal-Mart and Target a few among them.

"Yeah, it was a difficult weekend for everybody, our team members and our guests, and by opening at 7, just an hour earlier each day, will hopefully make the shopping experience a little easier for our guests," said Cathy Carroll, a Target Team Leader.

Despite the weekend of bad business, very bad, retailers actually remain rather optimistic. They say people may be short on time now, but their lists, well they're still long.

"I think we'll have a very strong week," said Tyler Shaffer, King of Prussia Mall Assistant Marketing Manager.

According to the National Retail Federation, the slow Saturday was in some ways offset by a frenetic Friday, shoppers expecting the storm trying hard to beat it. And, while they weren't in line this weekend, countless consumers were online.

One e-commerce monitor says retail traffic on the Internet spiked Saturday night, 33-percent higher than the same night last year.

But even down to the wire, there are always those who will wait, until the very, very last minute.

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