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It’s Bellevue vs. Seattle in battle of holiday magic and shoppers | Seattle Times

11/28/2014

Even before the delight and madness of Black Friday, the state's two retail leaders - Bellevue and Seattle - were preparing for the spending hordes.

At Westlake Park, workers wrestled antique horses into place on the holiday carousel. At Bellevue Square, the mall's scene-setters plumped teddy bears at Santa's workshop, the setting, over the coming month, for about 40,000 photos with the jolly old elf.

Seattle and Bellevue say they don't directly compete for holiday shoppers, but they do compete, passionately and with hometown pride, to create the holiday magic that draws in customers as surely as 6 a.m. doorbuster sales.

Bellevue, the state's sixth-largest city, is second only to Seattle in annual retail sales. And if you draw narrow boundaries around Seattle's retail core, as Bellevue Square owner Kemper Freeman Jr. likes to do, downtown Bellevue pulls in more money.

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