STRONGSVILLE, Ohio-- Last-minute shoppers unite! In the past some people might have pitied those last-minute shoppers and their frenzied, frantic search for gifts right before Christmas, but this year they make up the majority.
Consumer experts say there is a dramatic increase in people packing the malls and shopping centers in these final few days before the holiday.
Unseasonably warm weather, bargain hunting and indecision are just a few of the reasons cited for the trend.
The National Retail Federation found that as of December 15, a whopping 90% of people still had something on their list to buy from presents to food, decorations and other items.
At a very busy Southpark Mall in Strongsville Tuesday night, shoppers weren’t surprised.
“I would say it gets crazier every single year,” said Katie Wish who was at the mall with family celebrating her mother’s birthday.
“I love Christmas,” said Beth Wish, “I absolutely love it.”
Traffic congestion is also up and not only in the parking lots, but cars were backed up for well over a mile near the Strongsville exit and traffic alert signs were posted miles away from Beachwood Place warning drivers of the slowdown.
“It’s because there’s no snow, no bad weather or anything like that,” said Devoid Couch, “You can drive with the window down.”
The weather however was not a factor in a power outage at Beachwood Place and Legacy Village around 3:40 p.m. Tuesday.
Hundreds of shoppers had to be escorted outside until FirstEnergy "re-set” a sub transmission line.
But most people didn’t seem to mind. Some went to other stores while others waited until power was restored about a half hour later.
Shoppers said this late in the game it’s important to bring along a good attitude with that gift list.
“Be patient,” said Beth Wish, “And remember everybody is in the same situation.”