Retailers in the area saw an onslaught of last-minute gift shoppers this weekend and expect more to come as the eight days before Christmas dwindle.
Sales for Toys'R'Us at Park Plaza Altoona totaled about $120,000 on Saturday, ranking higher than the store's Black Friday sales, store employees said.
Lalaloopsy dolls and Dr. McStuffins dolls are among this season's most popular toys, employee Tami Taylor said.
Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec
Lisa Johnson and her daughter, Kayla, take a break from a shopping trip to the Logan Valley Mall on Saturday. Both women are from Atlanta, Ga., and were visiting family.
Sales managers at Macy's, JC Penney and Sears in the Logan Valley Mall also said Saturday and Sunday have been the busiest days of the season.
And as people finish - or begin - gift shopping during the remaining days before Christmas, mall and department store managers plan to open their doors for extended hours.
The 10 p.m. to 12 a.m shoppers are a special breed, store employees said.
"They tend to buy odd things," JC Penney customer service specialist Jo Lane said. "Very impulsive shopping happens. People begin to get desperate and grab the first thing they see."
Macy's will be open for 65 consecutive hours beginning 7 a.m. Friday and ending at midnight on Sunday, the day before Christmas Eve, said sales manager Stephanie Anthony.
She said Saturday and Sunday have been the busiest days of the season for her departments including fashion, fine jewelry, handbags and coats.
"People aren't shopping early like they used to. It's either the Internet or last minute," she said.
Sam Johnson of Johnstown browsed video games at EB Games in the Logan Valley Mall while his wife shopped at Old Navy on Sunday.
When asked how his Christmas shopping was going he said "Not too good. This is my first time out. I've been shopping all day. I have really young kids. We are just looking."
Shoppers who visited Macy's earlier this season "just to look," returned in force this second-to-last weekend before Christmas to buy gifts before they are sold out or return to regular pricing, said Macy's beauty advisor Brenda Ross who found a rare moment of quiet Sunday near the perfumes and beauty items displays.
Saturday and Sunday were the busiest days of the season because people are becoming desperate, she said.
It's the time, Ross said, when customers see how stressed they've become and say, "We are losing the meaning of what it's all about," but exasperated they say to her, "I need it. Oh, just give it to me."
Mirror Staff Writer Russ O'Reilly is at 946-7435.