Last Minute Shoppers Crowd the Stores
By: CJ Cassidy
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - It was an important weekend for retailers, counting on big sales from last minute discounts.
A recent survey by Consumer Reports shows 44 percent of people will do most of their holiday shopping between Christmas and New Year this year, mostly because of the tough economy.
When it comes to buying gifts at the last minute, procrastinators come armed with cash, credit cards and plenty of excuses.
"This time of year they have this time of year they have bargains!" one shopper said.
"This is the only gift we waited for really late and it was the last idea my brother had for my mom, he just came up with it yesterday," another shopper said.
Store managers say they've noticed the later shoppers wait, the more they spend.
"So you'll see fine jeweley purchases, digital picture frames, toys at the last minute - electronic toys. Guys walk in at the last minute see a helicopter think yeah I'll get that," said David Bortner, a store manager at Kohl's.
That might explain all those returns the day after Christmas.
Still, some shoppers say they may be running late, but they've spent hours making the perfect list.
"I know what I want to get. I just have to figure out which brand I want to buy," one customer said.
If you are a non-procrastinator, do what Michael Bien from Dexter did. He tagged along with his wife who admits to being a last minute shopper, just to nudge her in the right direction; maybe even suggest a gift or two for himself. "Just maybe," he said.
So what should you do if you do if you are one of those procrastinators?
Retailers suggest shopping early in the morning to avoid crowds.
Experts at Consumer Reports say you should always stick to your budget even if you're running short on time.
And speaking of time, experts also point out helping someone out with the gift of time could be a wonderful surprise.