“We thought this year would be different but that’s not what happened,” Mexicali resident Erika Slim said. “Here we are again shopping the day before Christmas,” she chuckled.
As crowds of shoppers continued to hit the stores of the Imperial Valley Mall on Thursday, even management noticed a more frenzied pace as the final countdown to Christmas morning began.
“Every year it’s the same thing: It’s hectic and it’s good for business,” JC Penney store manager Rudy Ramirez said.
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“We hurry to bring more and more merchandise out because it’s going out fast,” he said. “It’s becoming a good year. Every year seems to be better than the last.”
Ramirez echoed some sentiments of last-minute shoppers.
He said that, even though after-Christmas sales are traditionally lower in price than pre-Christmas sales, selection takes a hit after hordes of shoppers have come and gone.
Shoppers also had other reasons for buying gifts two days before the holiday.
“We worked up until today so we didn’t have any days off,” Holtville resident Lizette Wisdom said as she loaded her dad’s gifts in her trunk.
“We went to Wal-Mart and we couldn’t find what we were looking for so we came here to Best Buy and got the last item we needed for my grandchild,” Mexicali resident Maria Rodriguez said.
Yet even some of Thursday’s last-minute shoppers had a head start.
“We started getting our lists together in November and we weren’t able to finish our shopping until the day before (Christmas Eve),” husband Victor Slim said as he and his wife looked through racks of DVDs.
“We’re working so hard and this is our last opportunity to buy the Christmas gifts,” he said. “We’re busy people.”
Staff Writer Roman Flores can be reached at 760-337-3439 or email@example.com