NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — People who put off their Christmas shopping are scrambling to find gifts Thursday as some stores are extending their hours to deal with the last-minute holiday rush.
Thousands packed into the Herald Square Macy’s early Thursday morning to finish their holiday shopping.
“I started at 6 a.m. when it opened,” Vicki Brand, who was on a shopping spree for hours buying presents for her entire family, told CBS2’s Ilana Gold.
She’s definitely not alone. For many, shopping the day before Christmas has become a tradition.
“I got here about an hour ago and Macy’s is out of control,” said shopper Ed Bogart.
“I started early but you still go up until the very end,” said shopper Cathie Shirinian.
Ashley Lynn says she’s never waited this late into the holiday season to buy, but admits showing up Thursday was worth it to beat the earlier crowds.
“I feel like when I come shopping early, the store’s packed, there’s a lot of people,” she said. “Today, it was smooth sailing.”
This year, retailers have slashed prices to bring more people in the door in an effort to boost sales during what’s been a slow shopping season in the stores.
Some say they’ve never seen such good bargains.
“Sixty-five percent off,” said Brand. “I would say I saved a good $700.”
While some shoppers are also taking advantage of the record warm weather, others admit the 70 degree temperatures aren’t what they had hoped for.
“It’s actually kind of weird,” said Bayonne, New Jersey resident Maria Lupianez. “I feel like it’s not Christmas.”
“I’m not Christmas shopping, that’s for sure,” said Hell’s Kitchen resident Cary Hooper.
In Westfield, New Jersey, people waited outside in lines in 70-degree weather to purchase their last-minute gifts.
Mainstream stores and hometown shops were perfect for Lily Rocha, who was out buying one last present for her cousin.
“Last year, I got her the bracelet,” Rocha told CBS2’s Christine Sloan. “This year she wanted the necklace.
This year, some people aren’t even buying Christmas trees.
“I don’t know if the weather has been affecting or not, but it seems pretty slow,” said tree supplier Shalyn McClintock.
“It’s warm, I’m sweating, I have on summer clothes and buying Christmas gifts,” shopper Keturah Proctor from Elmsford told WCBS 880’s Stephanie Colombini.
Many of the major retailers, including Macy’s and Kohl’s, are set to stay open until 6 p.m. Thursday.
Others are staying open even later.
Walmart will close at 8 p.m. while Toys ‘R Us locations are set to close at 9 p.m. Thursday. Target will welcome shoppers until either 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. Christmas Eve.