Last minute shoppers rush to stores searching for gifts

Last minute shoppers

KPCC/Wendy Lee

Hailey Mendoza, 7, and Jocelyn Mendoza, 9, shop with their mom Sandra Mejia at the Walmart in Rosemead. Mejia looking for gifts on Dec. 20, just five days before Christmas.

Sandra Mejia was on a mission.

She wheeled her cart through the toy aisles at the Walmart in Rosemead on Thursday, ready to get her Christmas shopping done. Her gift list was long.

“God, like 15 (people),” Mejia said. “I just started.”

So have many others. The National Retail Federation said last week that only 11 percent of consumers had completed their Christmas shopping by that time. This weekend, shoppers are expected to crowd the stores searching for last-minute presents.

The National Retail Federation said each shopper will spend on average nearly $750 on gifts this year, about $10 more than last year.

Mejia said part of her delay had to do with the economy – and with her hope that prices would drop before Christmas. She had hurt her back and her disability pay had just ended.

“I stopped working, so that made it even harder,” Mejia said. “I think that had a lot to do with us…just waiting to see if I was going to be able to do it.”           

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