Last-minute Christmas shoppers pack malls

By Dave D'Marko, Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, December 22, 2014

Even after Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Super Saturday, many people were still out shopping Monday, with just three days left before Christmas.

There are still deals to be had, but some shoppers were just looking for any gift at all.

Cash registers were still busy Monday at Orlando's Fashion Square Mall.

"The list always goes on and on — people you don't remember — and the next thing you know, you are like, 'Oh, I forgot this, I forgot that," said shopper Alex Lago. "You come over and think you aren't going to spend a dime, and the next thing you know, you are buying cologne, you are buying a watch, shoes and God knows what else."

A large number of men seemed to fill the mall, fulfilling the stereotype of the begrudging, last-minute shopper. When asked how much Christmas shopping he'd done so far this year, Paris Monford's reply was: "Absolutely zero!"

"If I can't get it online, I'm going to wait until the last minute," Monford added.

The National Retail Federation had predicted holiday shopping would be up 4.1 percent this holiday season, compared to last year. Receipts lagged a little behind that in November, at 3.2 percent. But analysts predicted lower gas prices and increased wages would keep people spending longer this year.

Stores know the clock is ticking, and many are extending their holiday hours this week, including Kohl's and Toys "R" Us, both of which are staying open for 24 hours leading up to Christmas.