Last-Minute Shoppers Stock Up Before Christmas
AMHERST, N.Y. -- A sea of shoppers swarmed the Boulevard Mall Sunday as they picked up those last minute gifts to place under the tree.
"I'm shopping,” said Amherst shopper David Marinelli. “I'm in panic."
"My mommy still needs to get something for my daddy," said East Amherst shopper Ella Staehr.
"Definitely guilty of last-minute shopping, just waiting till the last couple days to run out and grab everything we need, but I don't recommend you do that," said Tonawanda shopper Jose Flores.
Despite the stress of finishing up their holiday to-do list, many shoppers were in good spirits.
"This is a very bad idea,” said Kenmore shopper Angelo Villa. “It's very crowded, crazy, but we're still doing good."
"Actually, what we wanted is to have a photo with Santa,” explained Tonawanda shopper Ashish Sood. “She didn't want it because she thinks it's for kids, but I love it."
And some retailers are hoping procrastinators will give them a boost this weekend, with some stores even offering extended hours and discounts.
"The Saturday and Sunday before the holiday is always the busiest time,” said Laux Sporting Goods assistant manager Justin Heftka. “Usually we expect the most amount of business and the most amount of customers today."
Local businesses are also expecting a spike in sales this weekend. The owner of Premier Wine & Spirits in Amherst says on a day like Sunday, they get an excess of three to four-hundred people per hour walking through their doors.
"We're having an increase in customer count - double digits, meaning over 10 percent, and we have an increase in sales of over 10 percent also," said Premier owner Burton Notarius. "We did more by five o'clock than we did last year by nine o'clock on Sunday."
And with the holiday falling on a Tuesday this year, shoppers have one extra day to find that perfect gift.