Last minute shoppers crowd Cape Fear stores

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — While some are wrapping up their holiday shopping, Wilmington’s Independence Mall and Mayfaire Town Center are seeing a major increase in last minute Christmas shoppers. Friday was no exception.

Hundreds of shoppers, McKenzie and Sarah Katherine, made their list and checked it twice.

“We just have a couple of gifts left,” they said. “Yeah, we’ve got most everything.”

Some, like Doug Pratt are learning from last year’s mistakes.

“Usually I do it it like a couple days before,” Pratt grinned. His girlfriend, Patsy Lanier interjected, “He’s doing good this year.”

Others, like New Bern resident Hutch Smith aren’t learning at all. Smith is putting off the stocking stuffing for another day.

“Yeah, I actually haven’t done any shopping at all,” he said. “It seems like every year, we usually, or I in particular wait longer than I did the previous year.”

Smith says he’ll  begin his holiday shopping Saturday. With a major shipping crisis affecting the United States, he’ll have to shop the sales in person.

“I had some plans with some online gifts.” He continued, “Which if I ordered now, they wouldn’t come in time for Christmas. I have to scrap those ideas. But everything I can buy in a store seems realistic still.”

While some are still putting shopping off, Bryce and Merridith Hawk have only just saved up enough money. After moving across the country, they’re trying to surprise their mother with a gift to help her further her future.

Merridith started, “Well, we’re buying her a computer for Christmas.”

“We’re trying to get her a MacBook,” Bryce explained, “because she’s going to start her photography, and she wanted to start here because she has opportunity here.”

Bryce said his mother follows her passion for photography when she can outside of work while taking care of four kids. Her old laptop crashed and deleted all her photos. Her kids hope their gift will give her the push she needs to try again.

“It’ll be great. I mean, once we give her the MacBook for Christmas, it’ll be awesome because… well there she is,” the kids spotted their mom as she finished her shift. “I can’t wait to see the look on her face.”

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