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Last-minute holiday shoppers hit up Columbia Mall before incoming snow

As the countdown for an incoming drop in temperatures continues, so do preparations for the nearing cold weather. For some, that included knocking out some last-minute holiday shopping. 

Rusty Strodtman, general manager of the Columbia Mall, said stores were much busier than a typical Wednesday.

Among the shopping crowd was Mizzou junior Elizabeth Ganey, who was holding a Barnes and Noble shopping bag. The last-minute gifts were for her sister and a few of her friends.

“I wasn't able to do a lot of Christmas shopping because of school and finals and whatnot,” she said. “I just like finding things that I know would just bring a little bit of joy in their life. Nothing big, just something small.”

Awaiting Ganey, a two-and-a-half-hour drive home for the holidays.

“I'm driving home tonight because of the bad weather and I have to work beforehand, so it's going to be a little bit stressful getting home,” she added. “I guess I was just worried I wouldn't get it all in last minute or in time and I'm already doing it last minute, so I didn't wanna push it off even more.”

Shoppers across Columbia hit different stores Wednesday, preparing for the incoming drop in temperatures. At a Westlake Ace Hardware, winter supplies were high in demand.

“We always know this time of year, whenever there's a weather scare of any kind, that we need to be prepared for it,” the general manager of the store, Jeff Kendall added. “We've stockpiled a lot of the stuff that we know we're going to sell. If not this year, we might have a few remainders for next year, but we can start out fresh.”

Popular requests recently included warm clothes, propane for heaters or furnaces and snow shovels. Some last-minute holiday gifts were also bought, Kendall said.

Regardless of the reason for a visit to the store though, he said he was just grateful people were preparing before the weather hits.

“If they can be prepared for when the wind chill really hits, they don't have to get back out and that's always what we recommend,” Kendall said.  “You know, why get out at it if you don't have to? Why take the chance on the roads? Be prepared, get it ahead of time, and that way you'll have it and you'll be ready.”

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Abby Landwehr

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