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Week after Christmas slow for retailers

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BATON ROUGE - The 2012 shopping season is quickly drawing to a close, and many shoppers say they didn't spend as much as years past.

Retailers typically make 40 percent of their yearly sales in November and December. The week after Christmas is still considered a big shopping week, which means merchants have to be aggressive with their sales.

"I'm coming to buy some last minute gifts that I didn't get to buy for Christmas," said one shopper.

Others are visiting stores to return items.

"I found bargains this year that I didn't find before," said Donald Harris.

Several factors have dampened shoppers' spirits, including fears about the economies "fiscal cliff," triggering tax increases and spending cuts early next year, Superstorm Sandy and the Newtown shootings.

For many, the economy remains shaky, and families are trying to cut back on spending.

The National Retail Federation estimates shoppers will return about $60 billion in merchandise.

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