Albany shoppers swarm stores before Christmas
ALBANY, GA (WALB) - With Christmas just a week away, thousands of people were out checking off the last few items on their Christmas lists.
In fact, the number of shoppers stores saw during the weekend was even more than they saw on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
Parking lots were full with cars and stores were buzzing with people all flocking to get that last minute gift before the holidays.
More people are expected to shop this weekend than any other weekend during the year, but that didn't change anyone's shopping plans.
"I have been out the last few days and it has been getting a little crazy," said Cheryl Henderson.
"The closer we get it's gotten really really busy," said Marva Coe.
It's the last weekend before Christmas, but the expected crowds did not stop people from getting their last minute shopping done.
"I have my kids and my nieces and nephews and loved ones. Just out here shopping to try and make sure everybody is happy," said Green. "I'm only here for one thing so I can get in and out quick," said Coe.
Thousands of people flooded the malls trying to cross the final gifts off their lists.
Experts say an estimated 156 million Americans did their last-minute shopping on Sunday.
Retailers say sales are on track to exceed $655 billion nationwide, and $22 billion will be spent in Georgia alone.
For shoppers here in Albany, the Christmas rush is something that they've gotten used to.
"We're seeing people wait until the last minute but it actually has been a pretty good experience so far," said Henderson.
While toy stores and malls are the most popular shopping destinations, some shoppers are only out for the simpler gifts.
"Most of my kids want money or gift cards. That makes it a lot easier because I don't have to fight the crowds," said Henderson.
Although crowds have packed the stores, shoppers say the lines aren't terrible.
They say it seems like the stores are getting the holiday shopping rush down to a science.
"It was crowded and you would expect long lines but it wasn't. Everyone was moving and doing great," said Coe.
Mall officials say they don't expect the rush to end until after the new year.
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