Retailers Prepare for Big Weekend Crowds

Area retailers can't help but jump for joy as the last minute holiday shopping rush is now in full gear. The Bonita Lakes Mall was busy Thursday as shoppers head out to get those last minute items on their list, or for some, to start their Christmas shopping.

Renee Williams, general manager of Bonita Lakes Mall, explains, "We're going to see more and more traffic. There's still a lot of customers that we've heard are still waiting until this weekend to do a good bit of their shopping. Some have just a few more gifts to buy, some still have quite a few, so that's always the case when you get closer to Christmas Eve. You see your traffic increase with the last minute shopping."

With the last minute shopping comes some deals that are hard to find any other time during the Christmas shopping season.

Tina Crouch, store manager at Belk, tells us, "Well, we have our one day sale. Our one day sale pricing will start on Friday. If you use your Belk rewards card, you get an additional 15% off sale merchandise. We also have 24 night owls/early birds. That will start at 3pm on Friday and last through 1pm on Saturday."

For the even more last minute shoppers, you won't be alone if you wait until Sunday or even Monday to get out shopping.

"I believe it's going to be very strong on Saturday," says Crouch. "I think it's going to lead into Sunday and Monday, the last minute shoppers are still going to be out. You're always going to have Christmas Eve business because you're always going to have the people that wait until the last minute that need to come out and grab the few different things that they forgot."

Bonita Lakes Mall will remain in extended hours until Christmas Eve. Store officials we spoke with expect this weekend to be one of their best sales weekends of the entire month.