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Still at it
Here’s a rundown of holiday shopping activity:
•74 percent of women nationally still had gifts to buy and will spend $218
•72 percent of men nationally still had gifts to buy and will spend $399
•71 percent of people with household income under $20,000 still had gifts to buy and will spend $170
•74 percent of people with household income between $20,000 and $49,999 still had gifts to buy and will spend $208
•78 percent of people with household incomes over $50,000 still had gifts to buy and will spend $401
Source: Visa Inc.
An animated plush speaker for iPods is a popular item this year for the Walgreens on West Jefferson.

You’re not done? You’re not alone!

Photos by Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
Business will likely be brisk at stores like Walgreens that are open on Christmas Day.
Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
Ear buds are a popular last-minute gift, according to the manager at Walgreens on West Jefferson.

Last-minute shoppers are one thing, but this is ridiculous.

Consumers – still looking for deals or scrambling for someone missed on their gift list – will visit a handful of retailers open on Christmas. Family Dollar, Walgreens and service stations are among the outlets they’ll have to choose from.

“It’s pretty amazing, but they are out shopping on Christmas,” said Sarah Manifold, manager of the Family Dollar on Broadway in Fort Wayne. “Some have their carts full. They’re buying toys mostly, but also clothes and (small electronics).”

The store is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Officials at Visa Inc. aren’t surprised.

A survey released last week by the company shows that 73 percent of consumers still hadn’t finished shopping for Christmas gifts.

These last-minute shoppers will spend an average of $304 in the final days leading up to the holiday.

Based on 1,007 telephone interviews conducted nationally earlier this month, Visa found that 16 percent of consumers had yet to even purchase a single gift and planned to do all their shopping at the last minute, which could prove costly.

“With this many Americans still desperate to buy gifts, we are officially in the danger zone for ‘panic shopping.’ ” Jason Alderman, Visa’s senior director of global financial education, said in a statement. “When shoppers panic, they throw money at the problem and often overspend to get a gift – any gift – in time for Christmas.”

Amy Edwards of Fort Wayne has three words for Christmas Day shoppers: “Have at it,” quipped the 32-year-old stay-at-home mom.

“I’m pretty much done with my shopping, and I don’t go out to the malls anyway. I prefer to shop online. Just click-click and what I want is on the way. I don’t like the chaos at the stores.”

Of course, not everyone shares Edwards’ view.

Walgreens stores have various hours on Christmas Day, but 24-hour locations don’t change.

“We get different kinds of customers,” said David Wilkins, manager of Walgreens on West Jefferson near Time Corners. “Some are finishing up or in need of some last-minute items. There are others who work different shifts and may celebrate the day after Christmas. It just depends. Not everybody fits the same mold.”

Popular items at the retail pharmacy include As-Seen-on-TV merchandise, small electronics, photos being put on mouse pads, coffee mugs and T-shirts, flash drives, memory cards, and computer tablet and iPod accessories.

And then there are other reasons folks shop on Christmas.

“In all the excitement, Fido sometimes gets forgotten,” Wilkins said, “and people are coming in looking for dog food.”

Procrastinating shoppers aren’t just at brick-and-mortar stores.

“Even after weeks of record-level online traffic to their sites, retailers are well aware that millions of their customers will still shop at the very last minute, regardless of how early they may have started their shopping this year,” Vicki Cantrell, executive director of Shop.org, said in a statement.

Shop.org is a division of the National Retail Federation.

“For some procrastinators, express and standard free shipping offers could be the deciding factor in whether or not they purchase something,” Cantrell said. “In anticipation, retailers will save some of the best deals of the year for the final stretch to reel in the countless last-minute holiday shoppers we see each year.”

Edwards said she won’t be among them.

“There is one really expensive gift I’m thinking about, but for the most part, I’m done,” Edwards said.

“I know the gas stations have to be open for people traveling, but I feel sorry for the workers at other stores. I just think that people should be with their families.”

pwyche@jg.net

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