Last Minute Shoppers Hitting the Stores Before Christmas Day

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA--Whether it's stocking stuffers or something extra special, shoppers were hitting up stores like Target in Odessa, hoping to find that perfect last minute gift.

"Electronics, electronics.  Toys is getting hit as well which is typical every year," Store Team Leader Lisa Bennett, said.

Target is putting all of their employees to work on Christmas eve, so that their last minute shopping rush goes off without a hitch.

"Beefing up the team.  We've got every team working tomorrow, so we can handle this.  Back-up at the registers has been a little bit of a challenge because people are waiting until the last minute this year, way more than they did last year," Bennett explained.

But why wait until the last minute?  Why not get it done, early?

According to Diana Lucas from Pecos, "You're either trying to avoid the rush but you usually end up in the big rush or you just didn't get around to it.  For me, I didn't get around to it."

Bennett says, this year despite the economy, they've seen an increase in the number of last minute shoppers, "It seems, this year, what they've done, they've gotten closer to Christmas and they realize, regardless of how much money I have, I have to take care of the people I love."

While some are shopping for friends and family, Hannah Williams and her cousins are shopping for people they don't even know.

"Kids that don't have presents for Christmas.  Because they don't have any Christmas presents to buy if they don't have any money," Hannah said.

If you're looking for things like Zhu Zhu pets or Snuggies, Target can't keep them on the shelf.  But Bennett says there's always an alternative, "If you don't find what you're looking for, get a gift card.  Target was rated the number 1 gift card given over the last 5-10 years."

Some, like Lucas, would rather go another route, "I don't like them but everybody else does.  I prefer personal presents."

For those who want to get a jump start on next year, Target will be open on Saturday the December 26th from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.  They'll have all their Christmas decorations on sale for 50% off.