Last-minute Christmas shoppers pack malls, stores - KCTV5

Last-minute Christmas shoppers pack malls, stores

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INDEPENDENCE, MO (KCTV) -

Area malls and stores were busy as soon as their doors opened Monday morning to last-minute Christmas shoppers.

Dillard's at Independence Center Mall had smiling workers ready to greet shoppers at 9 a.m. The store was busy but parking was plentiful. But by noon, shoppers were out in force and parking spaces were a precious commodity.

Many shoppers said they waited until the last minute in part so they could get steep discounts from retailers hoping to lure shoppers into their stores.

"Wait as long as you can," Christopher Murphy said. "Be as friendly as you can. And the discounts will come."

"I do everything last minute," Curtis Gregory said.

That includes wrapping, so he turned to the professionals. Gregory was one of many folks keeping the student wrappers at the mall busy. The students learn how to operate a business by running the gift wrap counter at the mall with charities also benefiting.

"The last-minute chaos has been typically men shoppers who wait until the very last minute," Carol Bolen said.

Steve Brisons said the mood was festive.

"It's fun. You're in the spirit. Everybody is out doing the same thing," he said. "I guess that's the big draw."

Nationally, retailers believe this is a better shopping season than in recent years, a sign that the nation's economy is bouncing back. Altogether, holiday shopping is expected to bring in $586 billion in sales.

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