Deer Widows Weekend almost here - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Deer Widows Weekend almost here

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(11/13/12) - With the start of the holiday shopping season just more than a week away, retailers are again gearing up and plotting strategies to lure customers to their stores. But, before the crowds begin their annual hunt for the best Christmas bargains, another, less well-known shopping event will take place.

In less than two days, hunters will take to the woods in search of that prize buck. Back home, many spouses and girlfriends will be "hunting" for a good deal. "Deer Widows Weekend" is now a big draw for many retailers. For the past 17 years, Birch Run Premium Outlets has created an event focused not just on great bargains.

"Really, it's women coming out and creating those memories, continuing those traditions, and I think passing those traditions on to their daughters and sons and other groups of people that they bring out year after year," says Lindsay Carpenter, assistant manager of Birch Run Premium Outlets, in southern Saginaw County.

This year, the challenge is to attract customers willing to open their purses or wallets, just a week before "Black Friday". Some shoppers say they're ready to go.

Cheryl Dorman, from Clio, was out getting in a little early Christmas shopping. "I love to get up for the holidays. The crowds are always tremendous. They're huge. The parking is, you walk a lot."

Store shopping habits suggest there is a difference between bargain hunters who come out before and after Thanksgiving. According to Carpenter, "Deer Widows Weekend is really an event. We call them recreational shoppers. It's about the fun. For Black Friday, our Midnight Madness, we've got stores opening as early as 9 p.m. So, that is really deal oriented."

According to the National Retail Federation, holiday spending is expected to rise just more than four percent this year. That could put a few more "bucks" into store registers.

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