Soggy weather doesn't dampen spirits of procrastinating shoppers

Posted December 23, 2015 6:25 p.m. EST
Updated December 23, 2015 6:27 p.m. EST

— With the clock ticking down until Christmas on Friday, shoppers still needing to buy presents were out in force across the Triangle on Wednesday, putting up with rain and traffic to cross those final gifts off their lists.

"It's getting late, but it's not last minute. Tomorrow would be last minute," said Morris Edge, who was shopping at White Oak Crossing in Garner. "More like 1 tomorrow afternoon will be last minute."

For most shoppers, however, there was a sense of urgency. At Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh, leisurely browsing wasn't the name of the game, as almost everyone had something in their hands or bags.

Kristen Spainhour said it's not typical of her to wait so late to finish her Christmas shopping, but a new baby this year changed the routine.

"She's having a great time," Spainhour said of her daughter. "She loves the people. She loves the microphone and the lights and the decorations."

According to the National Retail Federation, 90 percent of Americans still had Christmas shopping to do as of last week. Retail sales were up 3 percent in November over the same month last year – the latest figures available – but still aren't as good the industry group had projected.

"I'm such a procrastinator. It's horrible," said Matejah Noah, who was shopping at White Oak. "There's just always that one last-minute present you got to get for people. I'm trying to get it done. Unfortunately, it's not that fun out.

"The good thing is I usually know what I want to get everybody, so it kind of works out," Noah said.

Area shopping centers planned to stay open late on Wednesday and open early Thursday to help Noah and other procrastinators.

Shopper Cheryl Bipes said that, as with most holiday-related activities, patience is key to last-minute shopping, especially when it's raining.

"I was standing in line in there probably with 15 people waiting to be checked out and just started visiting with the gentleman behind me. I learned a little bit about his family," Bipes said.