Big crowds for last weekend of holiday shopping in Knoxville

Big crowds for last weekend of holiday shopping in Knoxville

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Traffic along Kingston Pike west of the mall was stop-and-go Saturday. Traffic along Kingston Pike west of the mall was stop-and-go Saturday.
Shoppers took advantage of big deals from retailers trying to make up for a short shopping season. Shoppers took advantage of big deals from retailers trying to make up for a short shopping season.
Some shoppers made the madness fun. Some shoppers made the madness fun.
The West Town Mall parking lot was unusually crowded. The West Town Mall parking lot was unusually crowded.

By MIKE KRAFCIK
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The Saturday before Christmas is the second busiest shopping day of the year, right after Black Friday.  

If you went near the mall Saturday, or somewhere like Turkey Creek, you probably ran into some big crowds.  

Thanksgiving fell late in the month of November this year, meaning many holiday shoppers are playing catch-up.

At 26 days, the 2013 holiday shopping season is the shortest it's been in 11 years.

For shoppers like Nikita Cox, every minute counts.

"Everyone is trying to get the last minute deals. They have some really good sales, so people are scrambling up trying to finish up the shopping for loved ones," Cox said.  

Crowds flocked to West Town Mall Saturday, but getting there was no easy task.  

"It's crowded. People trying to run you over, trying to get in your way," said James Miller who drove with his family from Helenwood to shop in Knoxville. 

Traffic was stop-and-go on Kingston Pike and the ramp from Interstate 40 looked like a parking lot at the West Town Mall exit.   

In the actual parking lots, many shoppers needed plenty of patience.  

"That traffic was awful we drove around 20 minutes to find a parking spot," Miller said.

For some, shopping this weekend proved to be stressful, but not for all.

Lesley Freshour seemed to thrive on the crowds, even after finishing her shift at Bath and Body works.  

"There's been a lot of energy. I think it's been a little fun. The more frantic people get, the more exciting it gets," Freshour said.

West Town Mall will remain open until midnight through Christmas Eve.

To draw more crowds in, stores like Toys-R-Us and Kohl's are open around the clock, all the way through Christmas Eve.  

The National Retail Federation is forecasting this year's holiday sales will rise to $602.1 billion, a 3.9 percent increase over 2012.

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