Lisa Chow is the economics reporter at WNYC. She tries to explore in her stories surprising aspects of New York’s many economies—in plain view or hidden, in neighborhoods or sectors.
Amanda Butler decided to start her day early. She came out to Soho at 8 in the morning and was surprised to see the stores were not as crowded as she thought they would be.
About five hours later, Butler had bought nearly everything she needed: cosmetics and clothes for her mom, sister and nieces.
"I was really dreading shopping today but it wasn't bad. I think I'll probably do it again next year," she said.
Shawn Blackman of Brooklyn had waited until Christmas Eve to buy gifts for everyone in his family.
"I couldn't help it. I just like the rush sometimes," he said.
Blackman said one good thing about waiting until the last minute was he liked the deals he found such as an additional 30 percent off a Tommy Hilfiger sweater and $40 off a Diesel jacket.
It appears this day of last minute shopping will cap a relatively successful holiday season for retailers. The National Retail Federation predicts holiday sales will be up more than 3 percent from last year.