Waited till the last minute to do your Christmas shopping?
You're not alone. Thousands are expected at area retailers today. Take a look at this need-to-know-info and hustle up. You're almost out of time.
Use an alternate route: Traffic jams near Manchester Village and the Rock Hill Galleria will be notorious today. If you know a shortcut, back entrance or super secret, today's the day to use it.
Lock your car: Rock Hill police have posted flyers in store windows reminding drivers to lock their vehicles. Parking lots will be packed, and thieves know many cars are full of presents. If your packages are in sight, consider covering them with a blanket to cover labels of expensive electronics.
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Start early: Jeff Kirby, the manager of the Galleria mall, said crowds will peak around lunchtime today and stay busy until sunset. The earlier you start shopping, the faster you'll finish.
Think easy: If you can fill your list at the corner drug store or supermarket, that's a good option. You might save a few dollars at a discount super center, but the crowds and hassle might not be worth the savings.
Electronics hot, shoes not
The Rock Hill Galleria filled all its empty spaces in time for the Christmas season, general manager Jeff Kirby said, but that doesn't mean they'll all meet their sales goals.
"It's been an up and down season," Kirby said. "We've had several really good days, and others not so good."
Kirby said shoppers this season are ga-ga for electronics, keeping video game store GameStop bustling. It's also been a good year for clothing stores, he said.
But the athletic shoe business has slowed down compared to years past, he said. It's also been tough sledding for jewelers.
"There are some stores that aren't going to make their goals," Kirby said. "But that's just the nature of the business."
'You always forget something'
Wayne Lester learned his lesson. The Rock Hill man said he has stood in long shopping lines the day before Christmas. This year, he and his wife finished their shopping at Wal-Mart a few days early.
"We've got what we need, and we're not coming back," Lester said over the weekend as he loaded a dozen grocery bags into his car. He's just hoping he didn't forget anything.
"It's the same thing every year," he said. "You always forget something."
Christmas Eve Store Hours
Books-A-Million: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Best Buy: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
K-Mart: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Linens 'n' Things: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Rock Hill Galleria: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Target: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Wal-Mart: Closes at 6 p.m. (normally open 24 hours)