Many still shopping for last minute Christmas gifts

6:27 AM, Dec 22, 2011   |    comments
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Hoards of people are still walking in and out of stores and shopping centers getting those last minute gifts before Christmas.

A number of businesses are helping them out by extending their hours and hoping for better profits. 

Both West Town Mall and Knoxville Center are both open until midnight through Friday. The West Town Mall has seen a 15% increase in traffic in the last few weeks compared to this time last year. 

It is good news for locally owned stores that need every last dollar before Christmas. Sarah Watson of Francesca's Collections will be working the extra hours this week. 

This is the first holiday season the store has been open past their normal time and it has made a difference in the profits for the locally owned shop. 

Mall managers said the late hours have been great and exciting with lots of customers coming through. 

Some customers like Sarah Watkins and Sarah Ray only started Christmas shopping on Wednesday. They went to many stores including, "Old Navy, Kohls, Kirklands, the mall, Penney's... went to Best Buy and turned around because the parking lots were too full," said Ray. 

Ray said she doesn't mind staying up late and looking for the perfect deals. Her job has kept her from getting gifts before Wednesday. 

Some of the store employees said they can emphathaze with their customers. Employee Sarah Watson said she will also be staying up late shopping, looking for big sales and helping stores stay in the black. 

The mall will also be open for the next two days at 7:00 a.m. Visit the Don't Miss Section on our website to see a list of more mall hours. 

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