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Mass. Shoppers Line Up In Cold To Snag Bargains

The flat-screen TV he just bought, he said, is the most expensive item he'll probably buy this year.

"The money is tight these days. You gotta try to get the deals you can," he said.

Still, some shoppers were unhappy that Black Friday openings were turning Thanksgiving into Super Thursday.

Lizzy Casanave, who's in her 40s, and her mother, Anne Linn, who's in her 60s, said that, unlike previous years, they didn't go out to grab the best bargains because retailers started offering those on Thanksgiving night.

"And we refuse to shop on Thanksgiving Day," said Casanave, an Arlington resident. "We don't like people making people go to work on Thanksgiving Day, so we banned that, decided to come this morning â¿¿ but we didn't get up as early as usual because we knew that a lot of the bargains will probably be gone."

Spector, an author from Newton, shared the sentiment from the Arsenal Mall in Watertown.

"Get rid of Black Thursday. Don't do any shopping on Thanksgiving. It's terrible," she said.

The 48-year-old Spector plans to spend up to $500, including on designer handbags for her two daughters.

"I did much more online shopping than I ever expected to do," especially compared to last year, she said.

"It was much easier. I've really stayed away from doing online shopping, but everybody talks about it, and I found myself to be really one of those â¿¿ it saves time, money, gas, energy. You just point and click and make your purchase," she said.

The shopping season stretching to December historically accounts for about 19.5 percent of annual retail sales, with some stores seeing 25 to 40 percent of their sales and profits during the period, Retailer Association of Massachusetts President Jon Hurst said.

He said the group is forecasting a 3.5 percent increase in retail sales during the holiday season when compared with last year. The two-month season generates about $14 billion. Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of the national economy and Massachusetts tracks that figure, Hurst said.

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