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Last minute holiday shoppers swarm Michigan stores on Christmas Eve

Today hordes of last-minute Christmas shoppers hit Michigan stores frantically shopping for the perfect present, or at least the best still available.

The checkout lines, all two dozen of them, at a Meijer in Jackson were at least three shoppers deep around noon.

Jeff Bycraft was doing some last-minute Christmas shopping with his fiancé.

“Running a little bit behind this year, but we’re going to get it all done today. You have to,” says Bycraft.

Rachel Breton, Bycraft’s fiancée, admitted there’s always a reason they're last-minute shoppers on Christmas Eve.  This year, the reason has four paws.

“This year it’s because the kids are getting a new puppy,” Breton said as they looked at a display of Christmas stockings, “We’ve been taking care of puppy duties, trying to get the dog house-trained right now before the kids get here … so we had to hold off a couple days for Christmas presents.”

The Michigan Retailers Association is concerned a lot of people put off Christmas shopping this year.

This has been an unusually short holiday shopping season, between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The Retailers Association says the compressed holiday shopping season, combined with the big ice storm on the final weekend before Christmas, and may mean less profit for store owners.

“Will sales lost to the weather be made up in time? Will they be pushed past Christmas or even into the new year?” MRA president James Hallan said in a written statement.  “We’re waiting to find out.”

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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