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Retailers gearing up for big pre-Christmas shopping in next two days

Fathers and other pre-Christmas procrastinators are expected to hit the stores in force on Friday, kicking off a calendar-enhanced flurry of holiday shopping that should warm retailers' hearts.

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However, consumers are far from happy with their smart phone experience, the survey found. More than 41 percent of the conversations had to do with consumer frustration with mobile transactions.

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As a result of the frustrations, many retailers have had to revamp their mobile apps and websites. In an analysis of the I-Tunes App Store, Tealeaf, a San Francisco-based software company, found that 11 of the top 35 retailers updated their apps since Black Friday. Despite those updates, Tealeaf, which tries to help companies improve their mobile and online experience, found frustrations remained at a high level.

For those who prefer walking the malls, it’s also a trying experience – just finding a parking spot.

At the Burlington Mall in Burlington, Mass., the parking lot started filling up at 10 a.m. on Thursday. “It was very hard to find a parking spot,” says Dan Yang, the CEO of Rullingnet and the creator of VINCI Genius, an electronic touch-screen tablet for toddlers. Ms. Yang was at the mall as part of her marketing efforts for the $389 product.

One of those people who will at the malls on Friday is Tymika Morrison, who lives in the San Francisco Bay area and is only working half a day. She rationalizes her procrastination because she has been working long hours and is not in the mood to shop when she is done with work.

“When I’m working long hours, I just want to be home,” she says.

Another last minute shopper on Friday is Maggy Ralbovksy, a resident of Keene, N.H., who is looking for stocking stuffers. “I have a little wiggle room in the day to get out,” says Ms. Ralbovsky, a publicist. “I think my workday will be a little quieter.”

However, it won’t be quiet at the malls. Yang says she will be back talking to parents at the mall on Friday and Saturday. “Since people won’t be working it will be even harder to find parking,” she says.

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