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Final holiday shopping crunch is on

December 23, 2018

BULLHEAD CITY — The last weekend before Christmas?

That’s the time to shop for items for holiday dinners, decorations and stocking stuffers.

Unless you’re like Scott Stroup of Lake Havasu City.

“I’m a last-minute guy,” said Stroup, who began his Christmas shopping Saturday morning.

Stroup said he typically can still find good deals, even late in the season.

Other late shoppers said that work schedules prevented them from getting gifts earlier.

School employee Nena Perez said that she typically works into the evening, and that winter break gave her the opportunity to start shopping.

She said Saturday afternoon that she was about 80 percent done with her shopping, and sure that she would get the task finished to the satisfaction of those for whom she was shopping.

“It’s Christmas,” Perez said. “Everybody’s gonna be happy.”

Guadalupe Williams said she sometimes gets a late start on Christmas shopping. This year, she said, she was sick over Thanksgiving weekend, and couldn’t hunt down Black Friday deals.

Williams said there still were bargains to be had Saturday.

“I was surprised,” she said. “Usually, they would all be gone.”

Retailers said they were bracing for last-minute shoppers and adjusting to their needs.

Target store manager Nicole Florez said the store has been “super busy” this holiday season. She said that expanding its online-shopping program has been a boom. Customers can order items online and, if they’re in stock, pick them up at the store in about an hour.

Big sellers for the season, she said, have included toys, slow cookers and air fryers.

“People want everything faster,” Florez said. “All these appliances make it really convenient.”

She said the chain’s 12 Days Of Socks promotion has been a hit.

“People love socks,” Florez said. “We’ve been selling out of those like crazy.”

She said customers now are buying stocking stuffers, party items and extra gifts they hadn’t been planning.

Edgar Romero, manager of the Bullhead City Walmart store, said the store was packed Saturday with shoppers outfitting their homes and their dinner tables for the holiday.

Romero said he expects the store to be busy until and after Christmas. He said the store has extra staff on hand to speed customers through and to keep up its appearance.

Not everyone in the stores was shopping. Georgia Hahn, a snowbird visiting from Michigan, said she was at the Bullhead City Ross store “just to be out and about.”

Hahn said she was unlikely to be converted from a browser to a shopper by any bargains.

“I have to get back to Michigan,” she said. “My suitcase is pretty full.”

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