Last-minute shoppers taking advantage of Christmas Eve deals - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Last-minute shoppers taking advantage of Christmas Eve deals

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Whether people were buying for one person or a few, stores were packed on Christmas Eve with people ready to buy.

"Figure better do it early before all the stores close," said shopper Tyler Eidell. 

Some needed those last few minutes to get a present for everyone on their list.

"I won't even say the name, because I don't want them to feel like they're the worst ones that we shop for, but I'm stumped," said Carolyn Johnson.

Crossroads Mall General Manager Gary Ogzewalla said the last-minute shoppers don't surprise him. 

"We always expect a huge crowd," he said. "Last-minute shoppers, lots of deals, lots of sales, so a lot of people wait -- and this is their big day."

Nationally, retail sales are down. According to ShopperTrak, sales at stores for the week ending Sunday dropped 3.1 percent from the week before.

That followed a drops of 2.9 percent and 0.8 percent before that.

Ogzewalla said, despite national trends, his stores are doing pretty well. The mall did a number of promotions, gift giveaways, and even iPad giveaways to lure customers in.

"Well it's an exciting time of year," he said. "It's the time of year when we do our most business and when the stores are happy, doing a lot of work."

Shoppers say, whether people were shopping on Christmas Eve or not, it's important to remember the reason for the season.

"It's just family," Johnson said. "It's just you know, the love of Christ and what he's done for us."

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