It’s the few final hours till Christmas when old Saint Nick starts dropping off packages for the good little girls and boys.
The clock ticking down--- sending many out for those last minute items. Despite last minute shoppers, many retailers are still reporting lower than expected sales.
Today marked a sigh of relief for last minute shoppers.
"Finally," says Medford resident Dorothy Clark, "It’s been a chore."
"I said I don’t need it, but we really did." remarks Renee West. "We had to have the garlic bread."
"I waited till the last minute, which I’m very good at, waiting," says Kim Sabo of Medford.
From one side of Medford to the other, people rushing home with their treasures, a last minute boost to store sales. "It’s non-stop from seven in the morning until about 5:30 at night," says Food 4 Less Grocery Manager Terry Allphin.
However, sales numbers aren’t cheery this year. Mall employees say retail is down 30 percent. Website 'Shoppertrak' predicts sales only increased 2.5% over last year, down from the 3.3% initially projected in September. "It’s pretty slow," says Camarlin's Creations employee Vanessa Hays in the Mall. "It was packed the last two days."
"It’s the couple days before that are better volume wise," says Allphin. "It’s more about customer count today then volume total."
Weekend numbers are not out yet, but analysts hope they’ll boost a less than savory shopping season. Christmas Eve mainly proving to be a benefit for grocers across the valley.
"I think everyone’s done with their Christmas shopping, but forget some things for their holiday meal, so it creates a bit of a frenzy – and that’s what we’re here for," says Allphin.
"This is it, it's all done," says Clark as she packs her last groceries. "This is my favorite part, now I get to go home and enjoy it." Holiday meal shopping always a boost for business.
Experts suggest Hurricane Sandy and the looming fiscal cliff are taking a bite into holiday sales. Local stores believe lack of jobs is still effecting business.
If you still haven't gotten your shopping done a few stores remain open including:
Walgreens: December 24, 10 pm and December 25, 8 am-10pm
Toys R Us: December 24, till 10 pm
Walmart: December 24, till 8 pm
Target: December 24, till 9 pm