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Despite the storm, shoppers pack stores for last-minute holiday shopping

Angel Russell

Despite a global pandemic, high inflation and supply chain issues around the country, Americans are still shopping this holiday season — and local stores are busy with last minute shoppers.

“I’m a procrastinator, so we’ve been seeing all those procrastinators coming in," said Abrianna Rose with Ambiance Boutique in San Luis Obispo on Thursday.

Rose said the supply chain bottlenecks causing delayed deliveries from online shopping has actually worked to their benefit this year, with more customers coming into local stores for gift buying.

“Last year, even myself, I could do Amazon Prime today and get it by Christmas," Rose said. "That is not happening anymore.”

Several shops in San Luis Obispo said they’ve seen an increase in customers buying locally this holiday season compared to last year when many were staying home and shopping online.

“I am surprised how much business comes in,” said Guy Troisi with Tom’s Toys.

Troisi said it’s been busy all week at the toy shop, and calls keep coming in asking about if they have certain toys in stock.

“It’s just non stop at some points, it gets hectic sometimes," Troisi said. "But we get through it.”

Troisi said their customers seem to enjoy the idea of buying in person, and he’s enjoying the busy holiday crowd.

“It’s cool seeing people have fun," Troisi said. "All the kids that come up to the counter, and they lose the toy for half a second, and then I give it back to them, and they just brighten up.”

Some local shops say they will stay open later to help all those last minute shoppers — shoppers like Brendon Rattagan.

“I’m going to be doing a lot of last minute shopping," Rattagan said. "I think there is a lot of people like me, like a lot of my friends!”

Local store owners say things tend to quiet down after Christmas until the first week of January, when people start making returns from Christmas gifts.

Angel Russell is a former KCBX News reporter who started her career in journalism as a reporter and producer for KREX on Colorado's Western Slope; she later moved to the Central Coast to work for KSBY as weekend anchor and weekday reporter. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, and playing guitar and piano.
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