OK, procrastinators: If you’re planning on squeezing in some last-minute shopping today, the malls will certainly be busy, but not as much as in past years.
Many stores close early on Christmas Eve, so make sure you double-check the hours before you head out. Some last-minute shoppers who offered their own advice agreed: the earlier, the better.
“Hurry up and get in here, because the aisles are looking pretty empty in there,” said Randy Olscamp of Fort Myers.
Olscamp says most of the presents he ordered online are facing shipping delays and won’t make it on time, so he went to Target to buy some last-minute gifts. But he went Wednesday, to avoid the long lines he expects Christmas Eve.
“It’s frustrating, but I understand, because people didn’t get to travel this year, so I think people shipped a lot more stuff through the mail this year, since grandparents didn’t get to see their kids this much,” Olscamp said.
Eileen Casey of Fort Myers says it’s always better to go as soon as the store opens. It helps you avoid the crowds and longer checkout lines.
“If I don’t have my list then forget it, so I make a list and strategize where I’m gonna be going, so the nice thing about here is they have everything all in one store, so there’s not much running around,” Casey said. “But without a list, I’d be in there all day and come out with not what I was supposed to be getting.”
At Gulf Coast Town Center, stores are open Thursday morning, but according to its website, they are all closed on Christmas.