ROANOKE (WSLS 10) – Hundreds braved the crowds and the traffic at Valley View Mall Saturday. Some looking for that perfect gift, others simply looking for a good deal.
“See what good deals I can find. It’s fun. You get to get out of the house and have a good time,” said Laquiesha Williams.
In fact, some WSLS spoke to said while they waited until the last minute to finish their shopping they did so in hopes of finding a good deal.
“My dad, he wanted to pick up a few things last minute, clothes and stuff for my little brother and me,” said Ricardo Harrington.
Others said they prefer to get their shopping done early, even if it means having to spend a little more.
“I go get what I want to get and get out,” David Jones said.
Clarence Fuller says he likes to get his shopping done early in an effort to avoid having to deal with the crowd of last minute shoppers. Saturday though, he says the situation was out of his control.
“Really not looking forward to it, but I’m supporting my girlfriend,” Fuller said when asked about the idea of coming to the mall on Christmas Eve.
For businesses in the mall, especially the smaller ones, the last minute rush is like Christmas come early, even if it is just one day early.
“Oh, it’s exciting. We look forward to it. There are a lot of people coming this way and a lot of people coming in trying to find the right gift for that special person,” said Mountain Artisans owner Aaron Ragan.
He says about half of his customers have been people who waited until the last minute to do their shopping.
“Yeah, a little bit of both. A little bit of both,” Ragan explained.
If you didn’t get your shopping done Saturday, the mall is closed Christmas Day but will be back open Monday.