Last-Minute Shoppers A Plenty at Miami Malls

At Dolphin Mall, tuckered-out shoppers – mostly male – took a seat wherever they could find one.

By Gilma Avalos
|  Friday, Dec 23, 2011  |  Updated 11:04 PM EDT
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Last-Minute Shoppers A Plenty at Miami Malls

There's only one shopping day left.

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If you didn't wait until the last minute to help Santa cross some gifts off the list, consider yourself lucky. The Toys "R" Us at International Mall was jampacked with procrastinators determined to get the perfect toy for the special kid or kids in their life on Friday.

The toy store giant was open for 112 consecutive hours. The wait to get to the register must have seemed nearly as long to shoppers with very little patience left to spare.

A child waiting in line by his mother's side summed it up in one word: "ridiculous."

Many shoppers who have had experience with last-minute shopping before say they have seen more crowds as the clock ticks down this year.

The crowds have meant a boost for retailers who have already seen a 2.5 percent increase in sales from November to Saturday when compared to this time last year, according to the research firm Shoppertrak.

Tired moms and dads could do nothing more than refuel at a nearby hotdog stand before their visit to the next store on their list.

Over at Dolphin Mall, tuckered-out shoppers – mostly male – took a seat wherever they could find one.

"I've been here seven hours and it took me like half an hour to find parking," said Jonathan Diaz, who waited outside of the store while his wife shopped.

Marlene, donning a pink sequence Santa hat, was in the Christmas spirit. She braved the grinches at the mall to find that perfect gift for Mom.

"It’s crazy, it’s really difficult, the lines are horrible," she said.

So why do we do this to ourselves every year?

Shopper Joanne told NBC Miami, "Because it’s tradition. If you're not waiting until the last minute, it's not Xmas."

Marlene said it's all about seeing the look of excitement when her mom opens her present.

"To see her face on Christmas. I just have to get the perfect gift!"

Miami-Area Store Hours on Christmas Eve:

Need to find a present on the last day before Christmas? NBC Miami has compiled a list of stores’ hours Saturday. Make sure to check with your location, however, as some stores for these brands could close earlier than what is listed here.

Aventura Mall: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Dadeland Mall: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Dolphin Mall: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

International Mall: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Most Target stores will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Macy’s will close at 6 p.m.

JCPenney will close at 6 p.m.

Best Buy: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Kohl’s: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Toys "R" Us will close at 10 p.m.

CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens are open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

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