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Christmas Shopping Procrastinators Flood Stores At Last Minute

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A recreation of the State Street Macy's clock. (CBS)

A recreation of the State Street Macy’s clock. (CBS)

Susanna Song Susanna Song
Susanna Song serves as a general assignment reporter for CBS 2...
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Updated 12/24/12 – 10 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) – Time finally ran out for shoppers scrambling to buy last-minute Christmas gifts.

Some shoppers cashed in on the deals without waiting in long lines by shopping overnight.

CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports most people like to stay home and relax on Christmas Eve, others choose to go shopping.

At Oakbrook Center in west suburban Oak Brook, Richard Abramoqicz said “the crowds are less on Christmas Eve morning, so it’s the only time that I go; every year for the last, oh, about 32 years now. And I love it.”

The Macy’s at Oakbrook Center was open 24/7 since Friday morning.

The store was very quiet early Monday morning, but there were several people shopping there before dawn. The store has been open throughout the whole weekend, and the doors won’t close until 6 p.m. on Monday. It was the third year in a row the Oakbrook Macy’s kept its doors open for three full days before Christmas.

Shoppers there early Monday said they loved the peace and quiet, and the good last-minute deals available on Christmas Eve. And they weren’t necessarily there because they forgot to shop earlier.

Erin Brewster said she shops so late because she hates the big crowds at the stores earlier in the shopping season.

“I don’t want to be around the madness,” she said. “I can’t take crowds.”

David Hollis said he always waits until a day or two before Christmas to do his shopping.

“I usually wait until the 23rd and 24th every year,” Hollis said. “It doesn’t give you a lot of chance to second-guess. You have enough time to make a decision, and you do it. … It’s a strategy, it works every year.”

He also said it’s good that he doesn’t have to contend with a lot of other shoppers by hitting the stores before dawn on Christmas Eve.

“I could go to the register, do what I needed to do,” and get out.

Marilyn Halawith brought her granddaughter with her at 3 a.m. on Monday.

“It’s just our holiday tradition,” she said. “We come during the night and shop. … There’s not a lot of people, the people working here are amazingly friendly and helpful. They’re all smiling. I don’t know how they’re doing it, but they are.”

Her granddaughter Giana Sansone said she found some good deal on Christmas gifts for her brother.

Lonnie Sorrell was buying some binoculars and a portable speaker set.

“I have a long list,” he said.

Sorrell said he enjoyed shopping at Macy’s before most other last-minute shoppers were awake.

“It’s absolutely great, quiet, not a lot of people, which is just exactly how I like it,” he said.

Kevin Rhoman, the operations manager at the Macy’s in Oak Brook, said it’s been a busy weekend for the store.

“We’ve had really good turnout. We’ve been very happy with what we’ve had throughout. There’s obviously lulls, depending on the time of the day, but we have stayed busy pretty much till 2, 3 in the morning, and then there’s a little bit of a taper off, and then it picks up again around 4, 4:30,” he said. “Customers love it. We’ve had associates who love it, because they, who work the overnights, then get off at 6 o’clock this morning, and then go home, and then they’re done, and they don’t have to work Christmas Eve. They get Christmas Eve off.”

He said every Macy’s store nationwide was open from Friday morning until midnight Sunday night, and some – like the one at Oakbrook Center – stayed open overnight Sunday night as well.

Stores like Microsoft purposely brought in a full staff for Christmas Eve.

Microsoft store manager Jim Massey said, “We are braced for all those last-minute shoppers that we know are going to be out there today.”

If you’re a procrastinator, don’t worry; you have plenty of options Monday to buy those last minute gifts.

Target will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Toys “R” Us has been pulling a marathon; some stores have been open non-stop since Friday morning, and won’t close until 10 p.m. Monday.

Best Buy opens at 7 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m.

Most of major Chicago area malls will close at 6 p.m. Monday. Woodfield Mall and Ford City Mall will open at 7 a.m. Water Tower Place and Fox Valley Mall in Aurora open at 8 a.m. Gurnee Mills will open at 9 a.m.

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