Last minute shoppers in Old Town Scottsdale support small, local businesses

With just days until Christmas, many shoppers are still scrambling to get everything on their list, but some items might be harder to find.

Retailers are struggling with supply chain shortages and are doing their best, with hopes that customers shop local to support family-owned businesses.

Stephanie Panczer was shopping in Old Town Scottsdale on Dec. 20, and says she began searching for gifts months ago. "End of October, once Halloween hit, we were like, OK, time to start looking at Christmas gifts," she said.

From big chain stores to online orders, to shopping local, consumers plan to spend $997.73 on average for themselves and their families this year, according to the National Retail Federation's annual survey.

As high as that number is, it's actually down from the pre-pandemic high of over a thousand dollars in 2019.

Melody Jennings was also shopping in Old Town for holiday gifts. "I usually do it early and pick up things along the way but this year it was more just get it done in one day," she said.

COVID-19 is still impacting some shoppers' decisions. Some are choosing not to spend as much while others are having a hard time finding their items in stock.

"Usually I’m very last minute, but we’ve got a little one now, so we’ve been going since October just to make sure with shipping and everything that we’d get everything in on time," Panczer said.

Zoolikins Children's Boutique in Old Town Scottsdale says they’re still dealing with shipping delays, but they still have plenty in stock and are hoping people shop and support local businesses this holiday season.

"Just a lot of local boutique things. Something you’re not going to find on Amazon or in Target, Walmart. Things you’ll see more at a local store," said Nicole Prouty, a sales associate at the boutique.

To meet the growing demand, the store's owners have expanded their services beyond retail to offer event space for the holidays right next door.

"Very busy. I mean we still have some openings, so if you want to have a holiday party and squeeze it in here, we can still do that," said Luke Miller, venue manager at Mini Social.

To meet the holiday demand, most stores have extended their holiday hours for all those last-minute shoppers.

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