Shoppers are running out of time to get those-last minute gifts for Christmas, but new numbers show retailers are running out of time as well. According to Shopper-Trak, which takes a look at sales and foot traffic for retailers and mall owners, sales are down more than four percent nationwide for the week ending Saturday, December 15th.Today shopping centers near Stadium Boulevard in Columbia had lots of people out shopping, but it wasn’t too packed. Retailers say that’s what they’ve been seeing in stores, steady crowds, without things getting too overwhelming as shopping for Christmas wraps up.Across the street at Best Buy, manager Tay Carson says his staff has stayed busy.”There’s been an increase in shoppers, we’ve had more people today on this last year it seems,” Carson said. “Over the past weekend we’ve had tons of people in shopping.”Despite national retail sales being down, Carson says Best Buy is up locally with many sales coming from gift cards.”Tons of gift cards. We have a station up front where gift cards are and we seem to restock those very often.”Nationally gift cards, cash and alcohol rank among the top gifts, but at best buy, electronics are also hot items, including E-readers, tablets and laptops.ABC 17 News found a woman finishing up her last minute shopping looking for those electronics; the self-proclaimed “queen of last minute shopping.”Julie Youmans says she’s not surprised to hear E-readers and tablets topped the list of gifts from Best Buy.”No, no, everybody’s got them, all ages,” Youmans said. “E-readers and tablets, it seems like the best of technology where you’re getting a lot of something little.”Carson says keeping the store stocked has been a challenge as shoppers continue to cross items off their lists.”[We’re busy] From the time we crack the doors at 8 o’clock, til last minute shoppers coming in before 10 or 11,” Carson said.
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