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Last-Minute Shoppers Feel The Rush

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EDGEWATER, N.J. (CBS 2) – The clock is ticking and stores are coming closer to closing as Christmas Eve comes to an end.

But as those hours wind down, so do the opportunities to buy last-minute Christmas gifts.

“I have one more person I have to shop for,” one female shopper told CBS 2’s Dave Carlin.

With no time to browse, the name of the game is find it, buy it and move on.

Edgewater resident Juan Carlos Paz-Franco was once again a procrastinator.

“I don’t learn from the last time so I know I’m going to be doing this next year,” he said.

For some people, procrastinating on their purchases is a thrill. For others, it’s a drag. For merchants like Martino Vassallo, it simply means more money.

“The later you stay, the more they come because they need the last minute card,” he said.

Vassallo love the shoppers who cut it close because they are inclined to make snap decisions and spend more.

Jaime Donovan, of Palisades Park, said she spent a lot more than she thought after coming in at the last-minute.

“Last minute stuff you manage to spend 100 dollars and you meant to spend 20,” Donovan said.

With all the last minute shoppers, it’s shaping up to be a strong retail season.

The National Retail Federation predicts holiday spending this year will top $451.5 million—up an estimated 3.3 percent over last year.

That increase will make it the biggest year to year increase since 2006, and if spending exceeds expectations, 2010 could break the all-time record of $452.8 million set in 2007.