EL CAJON, Calif. — Stores are packed during the final weekend before Christmas.
The Parkway Plaza in El Cajon expects to see one to two million shoppers over the next week.
Kids were lining up for their pictures with Santa while many adults have been hunting for deals.
Customer Hmuk Vigil bought a TV for himself.
“It’s still early,” Vigil told FOX 5. “It’s not even last-minute. This ain’t last minute; we still got a lot of time [until] Christmas.”
A Parkway Plaza spokeswoman said shopping is back to pre-pandemic levels this holiday season.
“We have definitely seen a big uptick in traffic starting over the last week really heavily so it seems like people are waiting for the last minute to do their shopping this year. With the inflation costs on the rise, I think people are really searching for those deals and so they’re coming out, seeing the things they’re not able to find online and figuring out what they can get in the store,” said Petra Rich with Parkway Plaza.
The National Retail Federation’s latest report forecast holiday season retail sales to grow between 6 to 8% more than last year.
NRF forecasts sales to total more than $960 billion.
Some customers saw deals from 40 to 50% off.
“Pretty good deals at Bath & Body Works,” said Jesse Solis, a customer.
The National Retail Federation said customers plan to spend on average more than $830 on holiday gifts this year.