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Cold temperatures keep shoppers from hitting the stores

READ MORE: Cold temperatures keep shoppers from hitting the stores

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- If you've stepped outside your door you know how cold it is. For some people this week is valuable shopping time to get those last few gifts crossed off the list. However, the cold temperatures are keeping people from hitting the streets and shopping.

It was a somewhat slow business day in downtown Wilmington and that's because shoppers are opting to stay inside rather than outside.

Christmas is in the air and if you cant see it then you can certainly feel it. The shoppers willing to brave the cold in downtown Wilmington were bundled up.

Gayle Kelly was walking out in the cold and was wearing four shirts, two pants, socks and boots. Folks walking the streets of Wilmington found it hard to describe these frigid temperatures.

"It's bone-chillingly cold," said Gabriel Lehman. "It takes a while to warm up."

It's the week before Christmas and the low temperatures could mean low sales for local stores. Some people are simply choosing to stay inside.

"I think the people are going to the malls because they can go from one place to another without going outside," said Lehman.

Many stores like Edge of Urge in downtown Wilmington are seeing steady business, but the cold is definitely putting a chill on the Christmas shopping season.

"It's like first thing you say to them is how are you doing and they say they're freezing," said Dustin Slemp, who works at Edge of Urge. "So we are giving them a safe haven from them walking around."

For the most part, the streets in downtown Wilmington are empty. Some store managers say they're seeing customers come in their doors looking mainly for specific purchases.

"If the sun was shining and it was a little warmer there would be people everywhere," said Kelly.

Since the window shoppers are opting to stay in the warmth of their own homes instead of bearing the cold merchants are working extra hard to sell their merchandise.

"We've been trying to spice things up and keep people knowing that you have to walk downtown but there's stuff going on inside," said Slemp.

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