Shoppers continue to flood the stores; some procrastinate with a - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Shoppers continue to flood the stores; some procrastinate with a purpose

Vallarie Woods of Baton Rouge makes a purchase at Aeropostale at Gulfport Premium Outlets. She usually has her Christmas shopping done by September. Vallarie Woods of Baton Rouge makes a purchase at Aeropostale at Gulfport Premium Outlets. She usually has her Christmas shopping done by September.
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

The crowds continue to flow into area businesses to grab last-minute gifts, particularly the weekend before Christmas.

But not everyone flooding the stores are procrastinators — some are waiting with a purpose.

Retail experts say the weekend before Sunday was expected to be one of the busiest during the holiday season.

“Usually, the Saturday and Sunday before Christmas are strong for us,” said Rhonda Roberts of Gulfport Premium Outlets. “Of course, Christmas falling on a Friday this year there will be those procrastinators that might way until the week, but it’s still strong this weekend.”

Kimberley Paugh of Aeropostale went one step further.

“We’ve been pretty busy,” Paugh said. “I think probably busier than Black Friday.”

A busier than usual schedule has kept Vallarie Woods of Baton Rouge away until now.

“This is a first for me. I usually shop right after Christmas for the following year. So, I’m usually done by this time or sometime in September," Woods said. "I have a list, I know how much I want to spend and who I want to spend it on. So, I don’t panic.”

Putting off your Christmas shopping until the last minute can cause a lot of anxiety. But in some cases, it pays to wait.

Retailers are pulling out all the stops to attract their share of the 40 percent of sales that happen in the last few days before Christmas.

However, there wasn't a panic trip for Ethan Bleakley and his family. Their outing was planned a year in advance.

“We come every year because of all the deals,” Bleakley said. “And we get all of our Christmas presents; we buy them for ourselves and Christmas presents we need for other people.”

Daniel Zimmermann has already done his shopping for the holiday, but couldn’t resist pulling off the interstate on his way back to New Orleans.

“Even if you did wait until the last minute, there are a lot of things to cash in on, even luck out better than some of the people who shopped early on,” Zimmermann said. “Sales like that kind of hard to beat.”

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