Procrastinators Flock to Reno Stores & Malls - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Procrastinators Flock to Reno Stores & Malls

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It is Christmas Eve, and if you haven't finished shopping, you're not alone. Many folks were still trying to finish their gift list as the clock ticked down the final moments stores are open.

At the Summit mall in south Reno, we met last minute shopper Michael Lytle. He may have looked cool and collected, but Michael was scrambling. He brought along his kids to help him answer something he's been wondering for weeks: "What to get mom. Mom's the hardest to shop for. She never tells us what she wants. We have to guess."

Late shopper Jeff Saling in the same boat. It was his 4th visit to the mall since Thanksgiving. He's a software specialist who's an ace at computers, but stumped at shopping. As he told us, "It's usually not a guy thing to do. Men like to get in there and conquer something based on what you want. So this shopping experience, I'm trying to get in touch with the other side. Not going so well so far."

Why can't they make up their mind? The Summit's Alexia Bratiotis told us, "You know, there's a lot to choose from at the Summit, so I understand if they can't make up their mind."

But it was the same scene at the Legends in Sparks Christmas Eve…the parking lot packed full of holiday shoppers, taking it to the bitter end. The mall's Dennis McGovern told us, "You know, I think we all procrastinate a little bit, and these are the folks I'll be in line with a little later today."

They may have been crowding malls, but analysts say they haven't been eager to spend. This year, shoppers have a lot on their minds: the Superstorm Sandy cleanup, the fiscal cliff deadline and the school shooting have snuffed out some of the giving spirit. Holiday spending has been downgraded to just 2 and a half percent growth.

To entice shoppers, malls and retailers have sweetened the pot with last-minute deals, more so than last year. At the Summit, Bratiotis told us she "drove around the property this morning and saw a lot of signs that say ‘sale' or ‘40% off' or ‘gift with purchase'."

And there are expanded hours. Reno's Toys R Us store was open early. In fact, it never closed over the entire weekend. When it finally closes its doors at 10:00pm Christmas Eve, they would have been open for a consecutive 88 hours. At Legends, McGovern told us "We extended shopping hours an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening" for holiday shopping.

And being a guy, Dennis had an answer to our other question too…what does he still have to get? "Well, for my wife. I do know what to get. I was told last night."

If only we were all so lucky.

-written by John Potter

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