Christmas Shopping - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Christmas Shopping

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BILLINGS -

Last-minute shoppers rushed into stores Tuesday to get the last few items off of their shopping lists.
 
Retailers say despite the slow start to the season they expect strong sales similar to last year.

"We're doing some last minute shopping, just trying to get the last of the stuff we forgot before," said Randy and Shanna West.

"We usually try not to," said Casey Roth, "We try to avoid the rush. But this year we ended up having to."

Christmas Eve shoppers hurried into Rimrock Mall to get presents before their holiday dinners. But this year's sales trends were a bit different.

"It's really been interesting," said Matt Bonner, Riddle's Jewelry store manager. "It's been a little different this year with Thanksgiving being so late and the next week being so cold, so it's been a little quieter to start, but it's really picked up this last week and a lot of people have been coming out."

Retailers have been slashing prices to attract customers.

"Typically, the old adage is the early bird catches the worm, but in this particular case, I really think that last minute Christmas Eve shoppers are really benefiting this holiday season with some fabulous deals," said Kendall Kavlie, Rimrock Mall general manager.

For some shoppers, Christmas Eve shopping is an annual event.

"I actually enjoy shopping on Christmas Eve," said Cody Cass, a shopper. "Just got to be a little bit of a tradition with my dad and I. We shopped for mom on Christmas Eve and now I shop for my kids' mom on Christmas Eve, so it actually works out pretty well."

The National Retail Federation projects a 3.9 percent increase in holiday sales compared to last year.

Mall managers say the day after Christmas is traditionally strong, due to people shopping post-Christmas sales and redeeming gift cards.

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