Despite COVID-19 cases rising, retailers and shoppers remain busy weekend before Christmas

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- With Christmas being less than six days away, retailers throughout North Carolina remained busy this Super Saturday as shoppers got their last-minute gifts.

According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 17 million Americans are infected with the novel coronavirus as of Saturday. But retail analysts at the National Retail Federation (NRF) expect more than 150 million people to shop the last weekend before Christmas.

In Brier Creek in Raleigh, ABC 11 found Darin Reinert from Durham with his two daughters getting those final gifts for friends, family and his wife.

"We're just trying to be safe and make sure we wear our mask, wash our hands often. There's still shopping that has to happen so we need to get out and do it," said Reinert.

In Target on Saturday, it was busy but not crowded.

That's where Andre Pettigrew from Durham was doing his holiday shopping.

"People are social distancing," said Pettigrew. "I felt very comfortable. Very safe."

Super Saturday shopping comes just as more than 6,100 new cases of COVID-19 hit North Carolina, adding to Friday's record of 8,444 in a single day.

A clear signal the virus is spreading at an exponential rate.

Reinert's 12-year-old daughter Caitlin tells ABC 11 she is concerned. She sanitizes her hands every five minutes and says she will keep her distance from others while shopping Saturday.

"I feel like some people are being really careful and it's nice to see people being as careful as they can, but I feel like with my age group, the younger group we don't fully understand how careful we need to be," said Caitlin Reinert.

The NRF says more people are expected to shop online and in-store on Super Saturday this year, compared to last year's total of 147.9 million shoppers
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