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Holiday Shopping Season Is In Full Swing

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- From Black Friday to Cyber Monday, the holiday shopping season is in full swing.

Tim Williams has more on how retailers are expecting you to use your wallet.

Shoppers and retailers alike are riding the ups and downs of a sluggish economy but this holiday is projected to be a bright one, based on the first three days of the season: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.

"It looks very busy to me. I can't imagine that this reflects a slow economy," said shopper Mike DeLuca.

Starting with Black Friday, malls and merchants rolled out the red carpet in the form of discounts and savings. Shoppers responded.

"Got some boots. I didn't buy anything expensive. My friend did, though, but it's been fun," said one shopper.

"I would say this year has been a great year because shoppers have started shopping so much earlier this year," said Towson Town Center merchant Selden Morgan.

On the flip side, Small Business Saturday was started by local governments to support area merchants. Boutique owners stress spending locally means keeping neighborhoods alive.

"When you talk about supporting our local merchants, this really hits home because these folks are right here in the community," said Pigtown Main Street executive director Ben Hyman.

Holiday sales are expected to increase four percent this year, a smaller rise than last year's 5.6 percent. This places a lot of weight on Cyber Monday to keep retailers on track to meet projected sales.

"We also have a lot of great promotions, door-buster sales that are not offered online, so it's a great reason to still come to the mall," said Annie Wildasin, Towson Town Center.

Analysts expect people will have spent about $12.2 billion from Friday to Monday.

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