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Aruba, December 8, 2017 - This year's holiday shopping season marks the first time in five years that four December Saturdays precede Christmas Day.

In addition, Christmas falls 32 days after Thanksgiving this year, one day more than last year, and is on a Monday instead of Sunday, giving consumers an extra weekend day to complete their shopping.
"I can only guess that this extra day and this extra weekend will provide extra busy shopping days," said Margi MacDuff, marketing director at the Huntington Mall. "We are excited for 2017 and feel the stores will do great and the shoppers will be pleased with the sales as well as the extended shopping hours the mall stores will be providing."
Holiday retail sales in November and December are expected to increase between 3.6 and 4 percent for a total of $678.75 billion to $682 billion, up from $655.8 billion last year, according to an outlook forecast by the National Retail Federation (NRF).
"Our forecast reflects the very realistic steady momentum of the economy and overall strength of the industry," NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. "Although this year hasn't been perfect, especially with the recent devastating hurricanes, we believe that a longer shopping season and strong consumer confidence will deliver retailers a strong holiday season."
This year's forecast would meet or exceed last year's growth of 3.6 percent and the five-year average of 3.5 percent, the NRF report showed.
"Consumers continue to do the heavy lifting in supporting our economy, and all the fundamentals are aligned for them to continue doing so during the holidays," NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said. "The combination of job creation, improved wages, tame inflation and an increase in net worth all provide the capacity and the confidence to spend."