Shoppers scramble to buy last-minute gifts

December 24, 2010 (CHICAGO)

"Because I'm a procrastinator, I'm going to be suffering the slings and arrows of going through these lines and waiting for checkout, and hopefully by 6 when the stores close, I'll be done," said shopper Terry Mankus.

"Kinda worried that they might be a little sold out, but I think it'll be fine," said shopper Andre Shaw.

Ron Blaney's hat, emblazoned with the Ebenezer Scrooge phrase 'Bah humbug', summed up his mood.

"Cuz I don't like shopping. Just get it done, get it over with. Last minute, that's me, last minute," he said.

Christmas Eve shoppers flooded a Best Buy store, snatching up DVDs and all things electronic.

"It was just another one of those years where I just couldn't get out early enough," said shopper Jamal McClendon.

Tim Grossi wasn't just finishing up his shopping -- he was starting it.

"As you can tell, I'm a little stressed…because I've been running all morning already," said Grossi.

This Christmas Eve rush is capping the strongest holiday shopping season in years. The National Retail Federation says sales are up more than 3 percent over last year.

"I think we saw a lot of folks who came early, and then it got a little quiet, and then it blew up again," said Best Buy Assistant Store Manager Brittany Gonzalez. "So you definitely have your last-minute shoppers, a lot of folks who like to wait until the last minute and get all the hot items."

"It is a game of chicken. t's like when can I get the best and get the most bang for the buck, as they say," said Terry Mankus.

Most stores close Friday by 5 or 6 p.m., but for those true procrastinators, Kmart and Toys R Us are open until 10 p.m. Some Walgreens locations will even be open until midnight.

"You can get a lot more here other than Q-tips. We have gift cards. We have fragrance gift sets with name-brand, up-to-date perfumes, colognes for the men, toys," said Walgreens Manager Tania Wright.

Walgreens will even be open Christmas day starting at 9 a.m. for those off-the-charts procrastinators not exchanging gifts until later in the day.

Sunday should be another busy day at stores as folks return the gifts that their loved-ones waited until the last minute to buy.

Copyright © 2023 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.