News and Tribune

December 22, 2013

Shop ’til you drop: Last-minute Christmas shoppers get in line in Southern Indiana

Folks look for hot deals the weekend before Christmas


> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Battling crowds, double-checking the list and lightening the wallet finally paid off for him. After all that, Greg Worley, 47, Lanesville, stopped for a snack at the pretzel stand at Green Tree Mall.

Worley was one of hundreds rushing to stores last weekend to top off their Christmas shopping. Now that it was all taken care of, it was time to relax.

“We made it to three stores in 45 minutes,” Worley said. “The biggest issue has been the checkout lines, but it really hasn’t been too bad. There’s a lot of good sales out there, so it’s good to get in here at the last minute like this.”

Even though waiting until the last weekend before the holiday to finish everything up is a little more hurried, Worley was able to take advantage of better deals on gifts.

Smaller local stores had their share of activity on Saturday, but not at the same rushing pace of big-box stores and malls.

At Dress and Dwell in New Albany, Phillip Morgan, 52, Corydon, said a lot of the family shopping was already finished. But checking out someplace smaller gave him a chance to find other gifts.

“We’re just looking for the extras, we’re not necessarily looking for anything in particular,” Morgan said. “We’re just seeing if something catches our eyes.”

After perusing necklaces and other gifts, his wife, Lori, said all they really had to take care of were sisters and other family. She said it’s nice to shop somewhere that’s not as crowded.

Though shopping online adds some convenience, going someplace to actually see and touch a gift before purchasing it is an added advantage.

“Usually, if it’s online, you kind of have a plan,” Lori said. “This just adds the extra little personal touch.”

This is Dress and Dwell’s third Christmas season, according to owner Amanda Gibson. Though they’ve added online shopping this past spring and offer in-store pickup, she said a lot of shoppers enjoy the atmosphere of a small store.

“I think they just come to us to find something different. We’ve had a lot of our customers say it’s more enjoyable than going to the mall.”

A lot of her customers come in from Southern Indiana, but she’s seeing more and more clientele cross the bridge from Louisville to check out her shop. She said it’s good to see her business grow and she’s happy to be a destination for folks to top off those Christmas lists.

“It’s definitely busier every Christmas season,” Gibson said. “The more new customers who find us, the more they come in. But we have a very loyal customer base that comes in regularly.”