'Super Saturday' draws out last-minute gift-givers in search of deals before Christmas

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It's down to the wire for last-minute holiday shoppers.

Ginger Kreitz and her family are among those out trying to get those final gifts before Christmas.

"We're trying to sneak in some holiday cheer," Ginger said.

The west suburban family are among those who flocked to this year's Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza for "Super Saturday" - the last full Saturday of shopping before the big holiday.

Ginger's 13-year-old, Olivia, knows exactly what she's looking for on her Christmas list.

"I want to get some ornaments because getting new ornaments is fun," Olivia said. "And the nuts are really good."

"Street Band," the Chicago street orchestra, took some of the chill out of the cold December air by playing some Christmas favorites while panicked gift-givers packed State Street in search of deals.

"Stuff for my boyfriend and then my sister. So, we're doing secret Santa this year, so I'm looking for some stuff for her," said holiday shopper, Isabel Becrra.
"I go online and check in the store -- all that jazz," added fellow shopper, Phillippa Paisley.

The Saturday before Christmas is typically one of the busiest of the year.

Although store traffic did make a comeback this year, the rise of the latest COVID variant may change that, including having people going back to curbside pickup and more online shopping.

According to the annual survey by the National Retail Federation, despite the ongoing pandemic, Super Saturday is expected to draw more than 148 million shoppers to stores and online.

The number is a slight drop from last year, but an increase over 2019.

"The big change this season is that shopping started earlier and you're not seeing the frantic sales we usually see the week before Christmas," said Mary Ann McGrath, a Loyola University marketing professor.

While some stores opened early and intend on closing late to accommodate the procrastinators, time is still running out for some who are not just seeking the perfect gift, but also some Christmas cheer.

"This helps get there. There's a lot of stuff going on and a lot of people out, so it's fun. It's been a good day," said holiday shopper, Jason Kreitz.
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