Shop Till You Drop

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The 2005 holiday shopping season kicked off early Friday morning. Now retailers are holding their breath hoping to exceed last year's figures.

The holiday shopping season is moving full speed ahead. Early-bird specials had many out at places like Wal-Mart and Target at 5 a.m. Analysts predict that shoppers will be cutting back due to high gasoline prices and high heating bills. In the past the average U.S. household spends about $1,000 on gifts and stores are sure doing their part to tempt us to spend.

Regina Agnos started shopping at 5 a.m. She tells 23 News, "I think the sales are even better this year than last year. They've been great like fisher price is buy one get one free."

Amy Dalby carries goes out shopping with her family and says, "The early bird specials are the best we found a lot at Sears. It was the best."

As shoppers roam from store to store to find that must have items others aren't concerned about savings but security. "The good news for all of us women is that it's not purse snatching that is on the rise. During this holiday season the biggest concern at the mall is shoplifting."

The Cherry Valley Police department is increasing foot patrols inside the mall and hiring back officers to specifically work Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Cherry Valley Police Chief Gary Maitland says, “Each anchor store has their own security and they are actively looking for shoplifters. Each of the stores will prosecute if someone is caught."

And this is just the beginning of being on the look-out for the thief who stole our presents. This is one of the busiest days in terms of traffic but not in sales. According to the international council of shopping the hottest day to shop is the Saturday before Christmas. Some tips to keep in mind when you are hitting the stores: be sure to read sale ads carefully, allow time to comparison shop, and watch the cash register scanner.