'After this I'm going home': Suburban shoppers brave cold for last-minute gifts

Some trudged around Aurora shopping mall, hustling to get gift buying done

Craig Wall Image
Friday, December 23, 2022
Suburban shoppers brave cold for last-minute gifts
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Chicago Premium Outlets shoppers braved the cold Friday for last-minute Christmas shopping in Aurora. The weather forecast included negative temps.

AURORA, Ill. (WLS) -- The bitter cold put a chill on the shopping plans for people who might fall into the category of Christmas present procrastinators Friday.

But, those still needing to get a few more bundles of joy just bundled up themselves, and got it done.

Though the weather outside was frightful, the shopping was still delightful.

For those with no place else to go, the outdoor mall brought the cold and the snow.

"I have kids, had to get the Croc charms, so you know you got to do what you got to do for your kids. It's freezing," shopper Marrissa Brigham said.

The cold doesn't show signs of stopping for those forced to do last-minute shopping.

And while the temps are turned way down low, there's no choice but to go, but to go.

"Well, I was shopping last night, and the stores were closing, so I'm back out today trying to get my last couple of things finished," shopper Kristin Bobeczko said.

SEE MORE: Chicago weather: Dangerous cold moves in after winter snow storm

For those shopping outside when it's this cold, there are three important criteria: dressing warm, being intentional and having a strategy.

"I take breaks every now and again, and I'll jump into a store that I don't want to go into just to kind of warm myself back up, thaw myself out," shopper Jose Lopez said.

When they finally find the gift just right, how they'll hate going out in the cold, with the wind, you must hold on tight.

And sales are making store managers warm.

"This morning I probably, the first hour surprisingly, had a dozen people walking through the store, and I'm looking on the sidewalks, and I'm like, people are moving, so it's happening," Nautica store manager Nathan DeMatio said.

"Customers are still coming out to get those steals and deals, and they really do like the touch, feel, try, buy of shopping in-person," said Marissa Persico, Chicago Premium Outlet Mall director of marketing.

Don't think the shopping is slowly dying, when the brave are not goodbying.

But as long as they love the mall so, let them shop, let them shop, then home go

"After this I'm going home, where it's warm," Brigham said.