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Sandy-Impacted Stores Go To Great Lengths To Stay Open For Holiday Shoppers

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TWC News: Sandy-Impacted Stores Go To Great Lengths To Stay Open For Holiday Shoppers
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On the last shopping day before Christmas, some stores impacted by Hurricane Sandy are going to great lengths to stay open and get holiday revenue that's needed more than ever. NY1's Erin Clarke filed the following report.

They know Christmas is coming, but every year, there are folks who wait until the very last moment to finish holiday shopping.

"It's fun," said Brenda Boone, a last-minute shopper. "I like the crowds."

"Last minute, always wait for the last minute for everything," said Elizabeth Palijaro, another last-minute shopper. "Get the best deals."

This year, shopping at the Toys R Us in the Caesar's Bay Shopping Center was a breeze, even though the store had to be set up in a tent, after the building was damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Shoppers NY1 spoke with said there was none of the usual frenzy.

"There were no long lines and there were enough clerks there to take my money and let me go," Boone said.

Shoppers were also surprised at just how much the makeshift site actually had in stock.

"They usually have what I needed," said Anna Raimondi, one last-minute shopper. "I went in, I looked, and there it was. I needed Hello Kitty, and it was right there for me, so it was very good. I didn't have to travel out too far."

By working out of the tent, Toys R Us is not only trying to hold on to its revenue but also keep the holiday gift giving going.

"I think for the most part, people are still trying to enjoy the holidays and buy gifts for everyone," Boone said. "That holiday spirit is in everyone, regardless of what the circumstances are."

There is no word yet on when the tent will close and Toys R Us will reopen in their original building, but there is another Toys R Us on Flatbush Avenue.

Report: 2012 Holiday Shopping Season Could Be Slower Than 2011

Retail analysts, meanwhile, say it could prove to be a slower shopping year than expected, thanks to a worrisome final quarter of 2012.

Market research firm NPD said shoppers appeared to spend less this weekend than the same time last year, even though customer traffic was about the same.

Analysts blame concerns like the fiscal cliff, Hurricane Sandy and the Connecticut school shooting for the dropoff.

U.S. consumer confidence has dropped from last month's five-year high over concerns about the fiscal cliff.

ShopperTrak, which counts foot traffic at retail outlets, cut its holiday spending forecast from 3.3 percent growth to 2.5 percent. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP