Last minute shoppers flood malls, businesses

1:24 AM, Dec 25, 2012   |    comments
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GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- By Monday evening, Santa had all his presents wrapped and ready to go down the chimney.

But up until dusk, a lot of people hadn't even bought some of their gifts.

And if you are still not done, places to get something are few and far between. Even Meijer closed early.

Some stayed well past their welcome at Woodland Mall.

Stores closed at 6pm but they didn't exactly push people out.

After hours, there were still men running in, some to buy clothes, or expensive jewelry.

But they weren't the only ones stressed out.

5:55 p.m. Christmas Eve. The Woodland Mall closes in five minutes, and the vacuums and mops should be enough of an indicator to get out the door.

But five minutes is still plenty of time for some last minute shoppers.

"Ok, we have to catch this store really quick, we'll be right back," said one couple.

Some didn't get in to their store before the gates shut.

Luvinia Burch made it out just in time, but she was out of breath.

"Too close, too close. I had a couple grandsons I had to get stuff for," she said.

But unlike some men we talked with, Burch says she didn't exactly procrastinate, she was just indecisive, and ran out of time.

John Waite has no problem admitting he's a procrastinater. He skipped the mall and headed to a gas station for a gift card.

"Out and about doing things like most men do Christmas Eve day, buying presents, just a male bonding type of day," he said.

The store manager at the J and H Family Store in Grandville says they were on pace to sell four to five times the amount of gift cards of a normal day.

"I can pretty much buy these all night, and nobody ever takes them back, they always use them," said Waite.

Back at the mall, Erica Horoky wishes other shoppers carried his stress-free attitude.

She had to sell them shoes.

"Today was one of the messiest days. Just people in such a rush. Just leaving things," said Horoky.

"It's been an ongoing thing, closer to the holidays because people are getting stressed, which is understandable, but when you're a last minute shopper, I guess the stress is a little more present."

That's evident as the hours countdown to get a present, any present at this point, under the tree.





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