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‘A lot of people that are out, shopping at the last minute.’ Shoppers in the metro are looking for last-minute gifts, but this year is different – KSTP

‘A lot of people that are out, shopping at the last minute.’ Shoppers in the metro are looking for last-minute gifts, but this year is different – KSTP

“I’m the procrastinator between the two of us, for sure,” smiled Brian Rieck, parked into the carryout queue with his friend Missy— who was decked out in holiday pajamas. 

“Certainly there’s good peace of mind behind it,” he adds. “Less interaction is a positive in what they’re encouraging.” 

On this chilly day before Christmas, the sun was unable to put a dent in a six-degree afternoon. 

“This is about COVID for me, for sure,” declared Jane Steiner, of Minneapolis. “I do all my shopping online— either delivery or curbside pickup.” 

Cold and COVID — boosting curbside service. 

“You’re sitting here with your car running?” Tom Brown, a visitor from Virginia was asked. “Makes it nice, doesn’t it? It’s nice to be able to come to a facility like this, sit in the car, and have things delivered to you.” 

The National Retail Federation says some stores are seeing a 217% increase in curbside or in-store pickup over this time last year. 

Safety is the biggest factor, shoppers say. 

The analytics firm RetailNext says E-commerce shoppers spent $1.6-billion last Saturday alone. 

Still, some shoppers, concerned about a supply chain slowdown, are trying an 11th-hour backup plan.

“You’re either going to wait for the mail, or one of the shipping companies to come to your home maybe three to four days later,” Nelson says. “Or, you’re going to do what I’m doing, which is schedule a pickup— and waiting for a long time.” 

RetailNext says in-store shopping across the country fell nearly 41% last weekend, from a year ago. 

Another survey found that this week, 64% of last-minute shoppers headed to malls and stores. 

55%, the survey said, are buying online— even if that means missing the Christmas deadline. 

But something that hasn’t changed— the ritual of giving to our loved ones— and the hope for a better year ahead. 

“This has been a really bizarre year,” Nelson says. “Hopefully we get an end to it and start it in a very new way real soon.”

Published at Fri, 25 Dec 2020 03:54:10 +0000

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Written by Riel Roussopoulos

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‘A lot of people that are out, shopping at the last minute.’ Shoppers in the metro are looking for last-minute gifts, but this year is different – KSTP

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