Shoppers rush to stores as Christmas gets closer

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By Jesef Williams

Travis Carnes is trying to avoid doing what he’s done in many holiday seasons past – waiting until Christmas Eve to do most of his shopping.

The Lancaster resident bounced around from store to store Monday, gathering ideas while looking for the perfect gifts for family members.

He was among many of the local shoppers browsing as retailers nationwide introduced special discounts in the week before Christmas.

Carnes’ wife began her holiday shopping earlier than him. She was one of the early birds out at 4 a.m. on the day after Thanksgiving.

Carnes was doing something else at the time.

“I was in the bed asleep,” he said.

Carnes said Monday that he was almost finished with his gift list, though the same couldn’t be said about fellow Lancaster resident Dale Cole.

Cole was just beginning her holiday shopping.

As Cole roamed around the men’s section in Peebles Department Store on Main Street, she made a pledge to complete her shopping within a few days. She plans to do it with a smaller budget this year.

Ellen Wilmore, a manager at Goody’s, said the volume of shoppers has gradually been increasing at the store, which has extended its hours until Christmas to accommodate the influx.

The store will stay open until 11 p.m. today and until midnight Saturday.

“Things are really good,” Wilmore said about sales compared to last year. “People are really shopping at the last minute.”

Goody’s, like many other area stores, continues to roll out more sales to lure customers. Wilmore said some of the best bargains at her store aren’t advertised.

“We’ve planned a couple (of sales) for this weekend,” she said. “We have some every day, but you got to come in to find them.”

Contact reporter Jesef Williams at jwilliams@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 283-1152