Last dash for holiday shoppers | NevadaAppeal.com

Last dash for holiday shoppers

Jarid Shipley
Appeal Staff Writer

Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal Cashier Scheryll Cudney rings up the purchase of Gabe Torres and Megan Wilhoite at Best Buy on Christmas Eve. Torres was buying a new coffee maker for Wilhoite as a gift.

With less than 12 hours until Christmas Day, the aisles of local stores were busy with last-minute shoppers looking for bargains and the final presents of the year.

The lines were steady at many chain stores, and customers gave a variety of reasons for waiting until Christmas Eve to complete their shopping lists.

“This is her first day off, and I work every day. We wanted to go shopping together,” said Norm Miller, of Minden. “We are just doing some last-minute gifts for our daughter and her boyfriend.”

Miller was shopping with his wife, Nicky, at Best Buy. The couple said they had one more stop to make before they were done.

Brenda and Nicole Campagni were hunting for a present for their dad. They said they had a last-minute detail that needed to be taken care of before they were done.

“We just waited until the last minute for specific details,” Brenda said.

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Among the heavily populated areas were the plasma televisions and personal entertainment devices, including the iPods and Mp3 players.

But Gabe Torres wasn’t looking for either. He needed a present for his girlfriend, Megan Wilhoite, who came with him to pick it out.

“I’m buying her present, but she already knows about it,” Torres said.

Wilhoite jokingly said, “I think I’m getting a coffee maker so I’m nice in the morning.”

Nationally, the International Council of Shopping Centers expects same-store sales growth for the combined November-December period to be up 2.5 percent to 3.0 percent. Same-store sales are sales at stores opened at least a year, and are the industry’s standard for measuring a retailer’s health.

The final days before Christmas and post-holiday business, boosted in part by gift card sales, have become increasingly critical for retailers. Gift card sales are not recorded on a retailers’ balance sheet until the cards are redeemed.

• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at jshipley@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1217. The Associated Press contributed to this report.