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Holiday Shopping Season Offers Sales Boost

Aired 11/20/12 on KPBS News.

More than 147 million people are expected to be out looking for bargains as the holiday shopping season officially gets underway on Friday.

— More than 147 million people are expected to be out looking for bargains as the holiday shopping season officially gets underway on Friday.

when i was a lad

Horton Plaza Shopping Center in Downtown San Diego

California retailers are preparing for a longer-than-average season and they are hopeful the extra time will translate into more sales.

The National Retail Federation says the number of people shopping for bargains the first weekend of the season is down slightly from last year, but still much stronger than the four years before that. The industry group expects sales to rise about 4 percent over last year, to $586 billion nationwide.

One observer said California retailers probably shouldn't expect that 4 percent increase in sales because there is still uncertainty in the labor market.

"We still have higher unemployment, but I just don't think the recovery in California is any better than it is in other parts of the country," said San Diego State University marketing professor George Belch.

If California retailers can keep pace with the rest of the country, local retailers will probably be happy, according to Belch.

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