Avoiding the last minute rush this holiday season

NC_lmrush1218_700x394(NBC News) The mad dash by last minute Christmas shoppers is already underway, and stores aren’t the only place that are going to be crowded.

The Saturday before Christmas is already behind us, and like last year, the busiest shopping day of the season.

Retail experts are again expecting deep discounts over the next few days at brick and mortar stores on practically everything…because it’s too late to get it online.

“You’re definitely out of luck in terms of getting it there in time without paying those heavy, expedited, shipping fees,” warns RetailMeNot.com’s Rebekah George.

George says most consumers prefer doing last minute shopping in-store, and a survey by the International Council of Shopping Centers found 92-percent of them still have last minute shopping to do, but aren’t panicking.

“The consumer has all the information they need in the palm of their hand, so they want to have updated sales and inventory in real time. That’s something that the big box stores really need to be aware of this week,” George says.

Something else to keep in mind if shopping between now and Friday: Roads are going to be jammed. More Aamericans than ever before, more than 100 million, are traveling this week to be home for Christmas.

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