GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - It's the last weekend before Christmas, which means shoppers are out in full force getting those last minute gifts at the Gulfport Premium Outlets.
With a little chill in the air, the sound of Christmas music and even the Grinch on a motorcycle, the hustle and bustle of last minute holiday shoppers at the outlet mall is a reminder that Christmas is just a few days away.
"Just doing a little last minute Christmas shopping at the outlet mall, and sales were great, lines were long but the service was very good," said one shopper.
There were a variety of excuses and reasons some people waited to buy their gifts.
"I don't know, the pressure and the anxiety. It's fun to get out at the last minute and be out with the public, you know. I think I really do enjoy the crowds," said Trenia Leblanc.
Some people, like Tanner Faucheux, even make last minute shopping a family affair.
"It's a lot more entertaining seeing everyone in the shops trying to go get last minute gifts, instead of like coming out here and there's two or three people in a store," said Faucheux.
One shopper has a theory about why waiting until Christmas is just days away is the best time to get it all done.
"The later you wait, the more they're going to reduce it," said a shopper.
Mall General Manager Pam Meinzinger says it's not necessarily true that merchandise will get marked down closer to Dec. 25, but it never fails that year after year, the weekend before Christmas is always flooded with customers.
"We see last minute shoppers from now until Christmas Eve, and they will be at the doors until we close. So, the inventories are still good, and the sales are fabulous, so it's still a good time to shop," Meinzinger said.
The mall also has extended holiday hours. It will be open until 9 p.m. every night until Christmas Eve. On Christmas Eve, it will be open until 6 p.m. and will be closed on Christmas Day.