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Retailers’ big weekend

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CHATTANOOGA (Times Free Press)-- Merchants are opening early and staying up late this weekend for what could be the busiest shopping weekend of the year.

Many retailers who suffered through a ho-hum Christmas a year ago are enjoying more ho-ho this year, even as they continue to promote deals and offer sales.

"The weather should be clear, the football games are over and it's time for people to shop," said Bill Graves, general manager for Dillard's department store at Hamilton Place.

Buoyed by better-than-expected retail sales growth in November, the National Retail Federation and the International Council of Shopping Centers predict this year could have the best annual gain in holiday sales since 2005.

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