Last-minute holiday shoppers hit Cherry Hill Mall amid pandemic

CHERRY HILL, New Jersey (WPVI) -- It's the week of last-minute gifts and exchanges. While online shopping is king this holiday season, many people are still out shopping.

At the Cherry Hill Mall in New Jersey, some smaller stores like Pandora had lines because of capacity limits, and Santa sat behind a plexiglass shield. But some shoppers say they love the atmosphere around holiday shopping.

"The plan was to come early and beat the crowd, although, it looks like it's getting more crowded," said Charles Barnes of Clayton.

"Touch and feel and get a look at things as opposed to being on the internet. Trying to get some normalcy back, but safely," said Jason Notaro of Cherry Hill.

"For some reason when I do online shopping, it never comes when it says it's going to, so I felt like it's better to come and get it that way you know you're getting it the same day," said Deric Goode from West Philadelphia.

Still, with the pandemic, online shopping is shattering records. Adobe is forecasting $189 billion in US online sales this season.

At J. C. Penney, General Manager Kathy Riddle said it's been slower in the store than a normal holiday season, but website sales have skyrocketed.

"Our online business has done fabulous this season. And right now in the countdown to Christmas, it really has picked up quite a bit in the traffic in the stores," said Riddle.

Last-minute shoppers were out waiting in line at places like Best Buy, where the hot ticket items are the PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch.

Matthew Klepacki said he searched high and low for the Switch and ended pre-ordering one for curbside pickup.

"They had two left in Marlton and I tried buying both online and picking them up. They only let you buy one at a time," said Klepacki.

Some of the stores at the Cherry Hill Mall, like J. C. Penney have curbside pickup, too. The general manager says it's been a popular option for people who want to save time and avoid in-store crowds.
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