Last Minute Shopping

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A retail industry trade group says it remains hopeful that holiday sales will be up four percent this year, in keeping with earlier forecasts. That's despite reports from a number of chains indicating sales have been at the low end of expectations.

The National Retail Federation says even so, it would be the smallest gain in five years. Spokesman Scott Krugman says the coming days are crucial for retailers. He says about ten percent of holiday sales take place in the week after Christmas.

In Southern Colorado, shoppers were slow to get to the mall on Tuesday. At Chapel Hills, there were plenty of parking spaces early in the day. But that changed by mid-afternoon.

Men tend to be late shoppers. And being late has its cost. According to American Express, 75% of the people who start their Christmas shopping the week before Christmas are men. And 57% of customers on the night before Christmas are men.

Late shoppers will spend an average of $1,900 on Christmas gifts, while others will average about $1,600.

Shopping is one of several factors that can spoil people's holidays. Some experts say the best way to stay sane is to have reasonable
expectations -- and know that things may not go according to plan.