SUNBURY, Ohio (WCMH) – With time ticking before Santa’s arrival, some Central Ohio stores were busy with procrastinating shoppers.
“Yeah, [I] waited ‘til the last minute,” laughed Matt Heskett, who was looking for a Christmas dress for 3-year-old Kensley Heskett.
Anthony Roberts was starting much of his Christmas shopping at the Tanger Outlets Friday morning.
“Well if I don’t get it today, I can’t get it,” he said.
Roberts planned to spend several hours at the outlet mall in Sunbury, before making several more stops at the Polaris Mall and Easton Town Center. He said finding last-minute gifts is a skill he’s perfected with years of practice.
“If I see it, I’ll pick it up,” he said, explaining he had 13 grandchildren to buy presents for. “But I got my mom out of the way.”
Lenell and Ashley Longmire explained they started their Christmas shopping in the summertime, but still had a few remaining items.
“We’ve got to,” Lenell Longmire said. “The way these stores are when it comes to crunch time – you don’t want to be out.”
Heskett said he normally prefers in-person shopping over making online purchases. Shipping delays and supply chain issues added to that aversion this year.
“Yeah I’ve got one that’s not going to make it,” he said. “It’s probably somewhere on a ship somewhere in the ocean.”
Crowds were steadily building when the outlets opened Friday morning.
“That’s why I came early, so there would be no crowds,” Roberts explained.
Despite the stress and strategy associated with last-minute shopping, some said it was worth the struggle.
“Making the kids happy, making the family members happy – it’s beautiful,” Longmire said.
Tanger Outlets is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Christmas Eve.
According to the National Retail Federation, 65 percent of holiday shoppers plan to make some purchases in the week following Christmas. Many plan to take advantage of post-holiday sales and use gift cards they received for Christmas.