Last-minute holiday shoppers fill stores, roads

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People carry shopping bags while crossing a street in San Francisco, Friday, Nov. 29, 2019. Black Friday once again kicked off the start of the holiday shopping season. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Many are counting down the hours before Christmas day and with the minutes ticking by, shoppers that still have a list to work through are heading to stores right before closing.

At the Lansing Mall, shoppers were scrambling to find the perfect gift while others were wrapping up shopping right in the nick of time.

“I did leave a lot of stuff last minute,” said shopper Shanice William, “We’re coming from Illinois to Michigan to visit my sister and her husband. So we’re kind of doing the kind of last-minute stocking stuffers, small presents.”

William was one of the dozens of shoppers still out in stores on Christmas Eve, even though most of her shopping was online.

“I rarely go to the store anymore. I think being out of town is the only reason I’m in the mall. So, most times, yeah, I’m online shopping and having it sent to the household,” said William.

Randall Morris said his shopping was a mix of online and in-store

“I’m probably doing 50 50 this year. Some amazon, some man crates. But local mall, you know, I like to support small business…. Good to have in-person interaction so you don’t spend so much time in front of the computer screen,” said Morris.

While some online stores offer same-day shipping, Ashley Gibbard with the Better Business Bureau said there are a few things to look out for to make sure you are getting your gift from a legitimate source.

“Look in the top search bar and make sure the website has that lock next to it and starts with “HTTPS”. The S stands for secure. And it’s important to look and see the website has legitimate contact information. So make sure there’s a phone number, not just an email,” said Gibbard.

But if you’re shopping in-person, Morris said be prepared for some long traffic lines.

“Surprisingly light but it’s kind of early yet so the real procrastinators will be in another hour or two,” remarked Morris.

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