HARKER HEIGHTS, TX — It’s a mad dash to fill stockings and find the perfect gifts for under the tree in the few short days before Christmas. A late Thanksgiving led to a shorter shopping season, which puts pressure on many to find presents in record time.
"It’s always last-minute shopping here and it’s crazy because everyone is doing the same thing,” said Mariah Cochran, who was shopping for last minute presents with her family.
The National Retail Federation estimates that holiday sales will rise about four percent this year. About 61 percent will buy their gifts this last week before the holiday.
Consumers will spend on average $1,047.83 this holiday season, according to the National Retail Federation. This is an increase of about $40 from last year. The stable economy is credited, in part, for the rise in spending.
“Shoppers between the ages of 35 and 44 plan to spend the most at $1,158.63,” the organization reported.
Many people we spoke to say that finding the perfect gift is a challenge. The National Retail Federation reports that 59% of shoppers have gift cards on their shopping list. Just over half of consumers say they are looking for clothes and accessories. Books and media are the third most common gift popping up on shopping lists.