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Rejoice, all ye shopping procrastinators

Twas the weekend before Christmas, when all through the mall, not a parking space was empty — not even a bathroom stall.

For the droves who did procrastinate, many rewards did await.

Lace camis, men's dress pants and half-off sales as bait.

You know who you are, and you're far from alone. You who have barely started your shopping with five days to go.

Stores typically do 25 percent to 30 percent of their holiday sales during the last week, said Erin Hershkowitz, a spokeswoman for the International Council of Shopping Centers.

She thinks consumers have been waiting to see what last-minute deals would surface, so crowds could be bigger this weekend than the more dismal turnouts earlier this year. After all, the Saturday before Christmas is usually the biggest shopping day of the year.

She said retailers could see higher volume than usual, since customers have been waiting to see what last-minute bargains surface.

It's hard to know if the pickings will get even better in the last day or two before Christmas. But there is a danger in holding out that long.

"My concern would be there won't be much left after this weekend," said Hershkowitz, noting that retailers have been keeping inventories tight.

Here are some of the best deals going:

• Dillard's: 40 percent off all women's boots, and Prive cashmere.

• Macy's: Take $10 off a $25 purchase. Find coupon on Page 5A in today's St. Petersburg Times.

• Old Navy: 60 gifts for $6. Stock up on lace camis, men's logo T's, and women's PJ bottoms.

• Jos. A Banks: All wool/cashmere dress pants for men, $59, which is more than half off.

• New York & Company: 50 percent off almost everything in the store.

• Ann Taylor Loft: Buy one, get one free on full-price items.

• Toys "R" Us: Extended hours, 6 a.m. to midnight today, lots of deals, including buy one get half off another Nintendo DS Backyard games.

• Dress Barn: Save up to 60 percent off ticketed prices.

• Nordstrom: 40 percent off coats for women, and 25 percent to 50 percent off handbags and accessories.

Times staff writer Stephanie Hayes contributed to this report. Nicole Hutcheson can be reached at (727)893-8828 or

Rejoice, all ye shopping procrastinators 12/19/08 [Last modified: Friday, December 19, 2008 11:28pm]
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