BULLHEAD CITY — About 134 million people expected to finish their holiday gift shopping during the week leading up to Christmas.
Many of them went about doing that on Tuesday.
A report from the National Retail Federation said that 44% of people polled expected to be done with their purchases by Dec. 20, 24% were making their last purchases Dec. 21 and 22, 7% waited to check off their shopping list on Christmas Eve and 4% said that their final gifts wouldn’t be bought until after Christmas.
Kelly Freeman, owner of Office Express, said that she sees last-minute Christmas shoppers coming through her store.
“I make sure that I have stuff along the lines of stocking stuffers and options to choose from,” said Freeman. “I have things like little laser lights, pocket pens, little flashlights and other stuff like that.”
Freeman said that when people come to her store on Christmas Eve, they take their time to look at stuff before making their purchases.
“The most sought after item that people come looking for at my store are office chairs,” said Freeman. “But since some people are buying their gifts on Christmas Eve, I just suggest that they keep their options open because a store might not have the item available that you wanted or someone may have bought it beforehand. So don’t limit yourself or be too specific when doing last-minute Christmas shopping.”
The NRF found that 44% of shoppers said that they were still deciding what to buy, 27% were waiting for family members to share their requests while 36% cited other financial priorities, 45% were too busy with other actives and 22% admitted being procrastinators.
As the time got closer to Christmas, the NRF found that 51% of consumers planned to make their purchases online, 41% at department stores, 25% at discount stores, 21% at apparel stores, 17% at electronics stores, 14% at local/small business and 13% at grocery stores.
One local business, Bullhead City Florist in Riverview Mall, saw the last-minute Christmas shoppers come into the store all day Tuesday.
“Honestly, we put everything on sale,” said Kimberly Jost, Bullhead City Florist manager. “They usually purchase little gift items such as artificial arrangements or last-minute decorations.”
Jost said that with the different types of decorations and all that the store has to offer, customers take their time to look at everything before making a purchase.
“If the customer is looking for a hostess gift, I usually recommend fresh flowers but we also have unusual Christmas ornaments that are easy to wrap and hand to somebody,” said Jost. “We sell a lot of angels, lots of pretty wooden signs and little plushies that hold a gift card which makes good stocking stuffers.”