Mid-South parking lots packed as shoppers seek last-minute gifts

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Last-minute Christmas shoppers had just hours left Thursday afternoon to complete their holiday shopping before major retailers closed early for Christmas Eve.  

“I usually kind of go out on Black Friday and kind of get a lot of this stuff, but this year, obviously, that wasn’t gonna happen,” said Sam Harrison.  

Charvis Sills spent the day making almost as many stops as Santa Claus himself in the quest for last-minute Christmas gifts.  

“Been to Walmart, two Targets, two Petsmarts,” he said.  

But shoppers soon learned that getting to stores was easier than getting into them as retailers enforced Covid capacity limits.  

“We went to a store earlier and we had to sit in a line for 20 minutes just to get in,” said Jacob Kohl.  

Dozens were spotted lining up outside stores at Tanger Outlets in Southaven.  

At an east Memphis Best Buy, the line for curbside pickup stretched through the parking lot and one man said he had been waiting in line for an hour. 

Finding parking wasn’t an easier. It’s one of many reasons some shoppers decided to keep their gift hunting to a minimum. 

“I did a lot more online this year just ‘cause I didn’t want to deal with hot masks and crowds and everything,” said Courtney Berger.  

Brooke Auston decided to brave the crowds and said she not only got the Macbook she was looking for, but also got it at a discount. 

“It’s normally $1,099. I got it for $861. No, actually I got it for $759. (So this was worth it for you?) Yes, it was worth it. I was so happy,” said Auston. 

“It’s such good bargains right now, man. You see something, then you go to the next store and you’re like, ‘Oh, I got to get that too,’” said Sills.  

Most stores will be closed Christmas Day and won’t reopen until the following morning. But several stores including Walgreens and CVS plan to stay open.

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