STANDALE, Mich. — Christmas is just hours away, and it’s down to the wire for shopping. Procrastinators across West Michigan are scrambling to grab those last minute things this evening.
Bill Pacheco, the Standale Meijer store director said, "Common trends (are) wrapping paper, lots of seasonal home decor, toys for sure, and a lot of apparel's going out today."
Pacheco says the store's preparation for last minute holiday shopping starts in October. That includes making sure enough staff are scheduled to work the checkout lanes and keep the shelves stocked for those looking to buy gifts or groceries.
"I'd say have your list ready. Be prepared. We're ready to serve everybody," Pacheco said.
He says this Meijer sees about a 30 percent increase in shopper traffic this time of year, some of whom say their last minute efforts are a mix of procrastination and strategy.
Shopper Joseph Honorable said, "I see the lines. I'm trying to avoid it. I figured I'd do the food first. I keep on glancing at the lines, and then I go buy the gifts."
Shopper Patrice Moore said, "Well, I think you get the best sales at last minute."
Shopper John Jackson said, "It's a lot on clearance so they can get rid of all the excess."
Shopper Frank Wildfong said, "It's a yearly thing (to procrastinate. Don't want to) find out you don't have enough food in the house to cover you over Christmas."
Shopper Brianna Hines said, "(Competing with the crowd's) a little difficult. You get a lot of nice people, but a lot of people that aren't the most pleasant to be around. But I just try to maneuver through it since it's a holiday season and everyone's stressed, crazy running around. So I try to be as patient as I can."
Shopper Stephanie Johnson said, "I try to prepare myself a year before. 'I'm going to do it early.'" She shook her head side to side but said she ultimately looks forward to the looks on her kids' faces Christmas day.
Meijer locations closed at 7 pm so that employees can spend time with their families for the holiday.