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Last-minute shoppers out in force

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Mike Desmond/WBFO News
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The hours are running down and the plastic is warming up as last-minute shoppers head into the final hours before Christmas. Along Elmwood Avenue this morning the stores were open and there were shoppers rushing in for those late purchases from the stores and boutiques that line the street. Kevin Lee says he typically falls into the last-minute category.

"It's my tradition. I wit until Christmas Eve and then I walk up and down Elmwood and buy my gifts," said Lee.

Cheryl Costello among those rushing around.

"I only have a few things to get, just nice little nuances," Costello said.

Merchants say the shoppers started early this morning. One merchant suggested the heavy traffic was going to make completing her own Christmas shopping difficult.

Merchant Lexie Furlong of Blush says customers are still actively out there.

"I had a lot of customers early. More people are going to be coming, for sure," she said.

Many of the sellers we spoke to say the majority of last-minute shoppers they have encountered have tended to be men.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.