Last day shoppers fill stores

Published 1:27 pm Thursday, December 24, 2015


Last minute shoppers flocked to local stores Thursday. Some were there to pick up last minute gifts while others had procrastinated, putting off their shopping until the last day.

Others just like it that way.

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“I always wait until Christmas Eve,” Taura Ware, 40, of Orange said.

Ware arrived early to shop in JC Penney, where she picked up clothes for her grandchildren.

“The stores are open earlier and have better deals,” she said. “I’ll be done soon then go back home and start cooking.”

Catherine Matthews, store clerk at JC Penney, said the national retailer had been busy all week, and she expected it to be crazy before the day was over.

“It’s been busy, but a lot of fun,” Matthews said. “We have a lot of empty racks. People are buying sleep wear, and anything Star Wars.”

JC Penney Store Manager Lisa McFee agreed that so far the season has been good —in spite of the warm temperatures that may slow sales on winter clothing.

“The unseasonable weather has not been too kind to us, but as a company, we tried to flow with it. Because of our demographic, we do carry plenty of short sleeve shirts and other warmer weather clothing items.”

Customers, she said, were trying to make sound purchases. Boots continue to be big sellers, in spite of the warm temperatures.

Many shoppers, she said, buy gift cards on Christmas Eve.

Evan Born, 24, of Bridge City; his friend Philip Lumpkin, 27, of Bridge City and Lumpkin’s son, 3-year-old Alexander Lumpkin, shopped Christmas Eve with Brennon Tregre, 16, and Brayton Tregre, 9, both of Bridge City.

The group said they enjoy waiting until Christmas Eve to do their shopping.

“It’s normal for us to come out this late,” Philip Lumpkin said.

Born said he was shopping for family in general, especially his many nieces and nephews, but had already shopped for his girlfriend.

“This is like my last day. I have a huge family — seven nephews and two nieces and I buy for them all,” Born said.

While Born shopped for his girlfriend early, not all men shopped for the women in their lives as early.

Julia Gary, store manager at Gordon’s Jewelers at Central Mall, said their store is filled on Christmas Eve with mostly men who have waited until the last day.

“We get the desperate people by the end of the night,” Gary said. “That’s when, on Christmas Eve, we get our busiest”

People coming in that late are not so concerned about prices as they are finding something.

Gary said what they try to do is offer some insight into what type of Christmas gifts women like.

“We try to guide the guys away from hearts. They all come in here looking for hearts,” Gary said. “We want the guys to know that women love jewelry, the bigger the better. A lot of times they want to purchase several small items, but its better to buy one good piece. Here it’s not so much about quantity as it is quality.”

Gary’s co-worker, Alexandra Zoschke, said she enjoys working on Christmas Eve.

“The day goes by really fast,” Zoschke said. “But, it gets us in the Christmas spirit and is a lot of fun. We want to make the ladies happy; it makes us feel like we are little elves.”