Last minute shoppers checking their list

By Audrey Williams

Last minute shoppers checking their list

December 24, 2012 Updated Dec 24, 2012 at 4:16 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill -- As Santa checks his list, so are area shoppers, and some found they weren't quite done.

Northwoods Mall was pack Monday with men and women, young and old, all trying to check off those last names on the list.

"I thought I was done, but at the last minute I thought I better pick up something else. I'm out here doing last minute," said Peoria shopper Kristie Sanders.

Bob Turner from East Peoria was also finishing up, he said, "I've just got one left on the list, the one most important, the wife."

According to a national survey last week, 17 million people planned to cut it close by hitting stores on Christmas Eve.

College student Reed Murphy plans to start and finish all in one day.

"I've been putting it off for awhile. I've been busy with work and school. I brought my mom with me so I'm hoping she helps me out," said Murphy.

Black Friday is typically thought of as one of the biggest shopping days of the year, but Kay Jewelers Store Manager Julie Vandenbergh said Christmas Eve is one of theirs.

She said the store is full of those last minute men, "A lot of times we're out of a lot of merchandise so it's kind of whatever we've got in the case they just go for that. Usually they're in a hurry trying to get home for Christmas activities.

Retail analysts are saying sales this holiday season are on track to top $586 billion, it's the most optimistic forecast since the recession.

Vandenbergh said it's not just Christmas Eve, she has seen the rush all season long, "Actually this has been one of our better years. Normally there is a lull the first week of December and we're just kind of waiting for everybody to come. But this year it was right out of the gates, it was slammed all day long."

Good news for the economy and maybe some good news for some of you ladies out there.

"We actually have a lot of proposals on Christmas Eve," said Vandenbergh.

And if you haven't found that perfect gift yet, better luck next year.

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