Last Minute Shoppers flood Local Stores

By: Jamie Edmonds Email
By: Jamie Edmonds Email

It's crunch time this holiday season, Thursday was one of the last times to tell Santa what you're hoping for, and for those procrastinators out there, one of the last days to find that perfect gift.

"I'm a last-minute kind of girl," Shopper Natalie Bradley said.

"Mostly cleaning up the details and finishing a few things," Marc Elliot said.

For others, Thursday was really just the beginning of their holiday shopping season.

"This is the first minute," Nate Webb said. "This is how I do it. I start today and finish today. Now I'm all done."

But no matter the reason for coming, store owners and mall managers are happy you came.

"It is pretty full today," Claudia Bleil of the Meridian Mall said.

Bleil said last year sales died down after Black Friday, but that's not the case this year.

"The energy is much higher, people are shopping, and yes they're spending a little more too," she said.

Meijer stores saw their fair share of last-minute shoppers too.

"Today is really the busiest day of the year for us," Chris Wilson of Meijer said. "People really are coming in and getting those last minute items."

Retail sales are expected to be big this year, so local and national stores are staying open late and opening early even on Christmas Eve to make sure of it.

"We're open until 7 pm Christmas Eve," Wilson said of all 195 Meijer stores.

"We are open to 7 pm Christmas Eve," Bleil said of the Meridian Mall.

Even with that extra time -- shopping can be stressful -- Wilson said shoppers are staying pretty merry.

"You would think with all of this stress," he said, "but these last few days everyone seems to understand it's going to be busy."

Christmas Eve Shopping hours:

Toys R Us - open until 6 pm

Kohls - 6 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Best Buy 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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