SARASOTA, FLA. - A lot of people headed to Suncoast area stores for last minute Christmas Eve shopping on Tuesday. Retailers always expect big crowds but the isles of the Westfield Southgate Shopping Center were unusually full of men.
Janet Bailey is the store manager of Pandora. “We are expecting a lot of men in today because usually this time of year they wait to the last minute,” said Bailey.
When Jon Rissler walked into the Westfield Southgate Shopping Center on Tuesday he notice “a lot of dads. As soon as I walked up there was several of them, a dad with two kids by his side, so I didn’t feel alone,” laughed Rissler. He finally got a chance to go Christmas shopping with his two daughters and headed to a jewelry store.
“We will get it done today, guaranteed, right girls.”
Lauren Gray works at a mall kiosk that sells locally made skin care products. She says most of her Christmas Eve business was male customers.
“A lot of them are kind of in a rush. They know their wives like to be pampered. Some of them kind of want us to tell them what to get,” said Gray.
Michael Zuback joked he wasn’t doing his shopping at the last minute. He was “getting a jump on next years Christmas.”
Zuback told ABC 7 he already crossed everyone off his shopping list but after dropping his wife off at the nail salon he wanted to pick up a few extra gifts for her.
“ We are completely done but it’s the urge just to do a little more. To give a little more,” said Zuback.
Rissler said thanks to his wife their family Christmas shopping was finished.
“Mom does a lot of shopping so we got most of that taken care of much earlier.”
All that was left was to help his daughters find the perfect gift for mom.
“Mom is the last and most important” said Rissler.
The Westfield Southgate Shopping Center is closed Christmas Day but reopens at 9a.m. the day after Christmas which will be a busy day of Christmas returns and gift card spending.