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Wintry blast drives holidays shoppers online, into malls

USA Today

By: Charisse Jones

As temperatures plummeted, retailers’ online traffic soared this past weekend as they entered the home stretch of the holiday shopping season.

And given the wintry blast that gripped much of the nation, buyers were loading up on seasonal clothing, says Planalytics, a firm that measures the impact of weather on consumer behavior. It forecasts that shoppers will spend at least $350 million more than last year on cold weather gear during  December.

But despite snow and cold, many sought refuge in shopping centers and malls — and kept spending.

“It was not bad enough to keep people away,” said Planalytics President Scott Bernhardt, “particularly on . . . Saturday. People need the gifts. . . They’re certainly hitting the brick-and-mortar stores as we get closer to the holiday.”

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