Stores packed with last-minute shoppers - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Stores packed with last-minute shoppers

Store employees expect local businesses to be busy until Christmas Eve. (Source: Ruby Durham) Store employees expect local businesses to be busy until Christmas Eve. (Source: Ruby Durham)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - There are only six days before the Christmas holiday, and that means the race is on to fill those shopping bags with presents.

While it may not be Black Friday or Cyber Monday, people are still feeling that holiday rush. This year, with Christmas falling on the weekend, stores have to work even harder to get shoppers to come out.

That's why some local merchants are making it a bit easier for residents to get those last-minute holiday items

Shoppers can hop onto Walmart.com until 6 p.m., on Dec. 23 and into the physical store until 6 p.m., on Christmas Eve to pick up those purchases. Then there is Toys R Us, which is extending its hours this week until 2 a.m.  

When Kohl's opens its doors on Tuesday, they'll be giving shoppers the gift of 24 hours of business until Christmas Eve.

"You've got that customer who maybe she has to work longer, she has to work two jobs," said Regina Matthews, a Kohl's manager. We wanted to give that extra time to not be rushed and have as much time as she needed to shop in the building. We were going to be here restocking and getting things ready to go anyway."

However, it's not just the big chain stores that are using grand gestures to get the attention of last-minute shoppers. 

It's not just the Apple Watch that is drawing foot traffic to City Mac at The Market Common. Customers who come in and trade their iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus will get an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus for free if they are a Verizon user.

That gave store managers a reason to extend their hours by opening an hour earlier and closing an hour later than normal.

“We do get some morning walkers that come in first thing and they’re always there to get one item and then leave,” said City Mac Service Manager Cody Keats.

According to the National Retail Federation, 24 million people still have errands to run and the average shopper has made about half of their purchases.

Still, the big crowds aren't stopping shoppers from getting all those gifts for family and friends.

One of them shoppers is Victoria Lucas, a local woman who is in search of that one thing she forgot.

"I just need fireman boots for my grandson," Lucas said.

The National Retail Federation said as much as 40 percent of the season's sales happen in the 10 days before Christmas.

"It hasn't been hectic," Lucas said. "People are friendly in the stores. It's been a nice experience in the stores this year."

Thomas Lucas doesn't feel the same way. He said he went out to the stores this past weekend, but it was so busy he decided to come back on a later day.

"It was nuts in here Saturday," Thomas Lucas said. "We came out to pick up the same things we're picking up today and for the three items we're going to get would have probably taken us 30 minutes in the line.” 

He added procrastination plays a part in this last-minute holiday dash.

However, there is no procrastination on the business side of things.

Matthews is a veteran of the Christmas shopping season and said the store always plans ahead for the week ahead of Dec. 25.

"We did hire additional 55 people more than we had last year,"Matthews said.

For those who are waiting until the very last minute to get that shopping done, a word advice is to be patient.

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