Last-minute shoppers pack Ark-La-Tex malls

Thursday, December 22, 2011 - 9:19am

It's been a great holiday season for most retailers, according to the National Retail Federation, which says overall sales are up 4 percent over last year. Plus, there's a bright spot for stores. Up to 90 percent of shoppers aren't done yet.

A recent survey shows the averge American has about half of his or her shopping left to do, up a few points from last year. That trend is on display at many area malls today, including Pierre Bossier Mall in Bossier City, where manager Steven Nyles says he's seen a big boost in the number of shoppers. "Quite a few folks here, ever since this last Friday and we should experience more intense flow throughout the week," he said.

He says there's lots of reasons some shoppers delay their shopping until the last week...including grabbing up last-minute deals. Bethany Towns of Buckle at Pierre Bossier says there are others reasons too. New smart phone technology is letting shoppers keep up with the latest deals, and for many of them, nabbing the best bargain is just a matter of time. "People come up with their iphone and show us buckle dot com and say, can you find this for me, do you have it in the store, or pull up their wish list and stuff like that, so we get on there and find it for them," said Towns.

That same NRF survey shows there's no reason to suspect the mall will get less crowded any time soon. Up to 10 percent of shoppers say they'll finish their list on Christmas Eve.

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