Last-minute shoppers are ready to charge

 Shoppers are expected to be out in force Saturday, traditionally one of the the busiest days of the year. (AP file)

Shoppers are expected to be out in force Saturday, traditionally one of the the busiest days of the year. (AP file)

There’s not much time left to finish your Christmas shopping.

 

Many people have already wrapped up. But some wait until the last few days to begin.

You might have noticed fewer people at the stores recently, but New Jersey Retail Merchants Association president John Holub said the last-minute rush is on.

“There’s always kind of a lull and a dip and, really, I think things are going to start picking up in this last week,” he said. “The Saturday before Christmas is always becoming one the busiest shopping days of the year. If fact it was the busiest day last year. So we really expect things to be picking up.”

The holiday shopping season will continue past Christmas because of all the gift cards people get as presents,” Holub said.

“It tends to be one of the No. 1 purchased items and the No. 1 requested items, so gift cards are very popular,” he said. “And that translates well for retailers for the following days and weeks after the holiday because people are going to come in and use those gift cards.”

Analysts predicted a 3.7 percent increase in holiday season sales for retailers this year, which would be not quite as good as last year’s increase.

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