Last-minute Christmas shoppers flock to stores

Local News

LEEDS, Ala. (WIAT) — Christmas Eve morning in Leeds was full of last-minute rushing for many people trying to find gifts before Christmas day.

“Busy grocery shopping, decorating, tending to other people’s needs besides your own so now I have time for myself to do my own shopping and it just happened to be last minute,” said grace Rowland, a shopper at the Outlet Shops of Grand River.

Rowland is part of the 6 percent of Americans that are shopping the day before Christmas, while about 148 million Americans did their shopping last weekend according to the National Retail Federation.

“We’re on the hunt for kids’ stuff kids clothing that’s it. Good sales going on and we came to dwell in it,” said Rowland.

“We love seeing traffic, we love seeing sales, but we also really feel that from the customers how much they enjoy being out here,” said Christine Strange, VP of Retail Operations at the Outlet Shops of Grand River.

Strange tells us November sales were up by 25 percent compared to last year.

“Generally, November and December sales make up about 27 percent of the total annual sales so it’s a very important time of the year. It also generates the sales tax for the state, county, and local community we’re in the city of Leeds and that’s all very important to the economy,” said Strange.

With an influx in foot traffic, shoppers tell us they are also doing their best to keep themselves healthy before joining loved ones.

“Protecting myself and others with so much going on in the world and masks of course,” said Rowland.

The Outlet Shops of Grand River will be closed on Christmas day. Sunday they will be back open 12-6. Ready to help those with holiday returns and gift cards to spend.

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