Last-minute Rochester shoppers fighting the clock

December 24, 2018 07:38 PM

Light snow did little to scare away waves of shoppers at Rochester area shopping malls and supermarkets as they braved the final hours of Christmas Eve.

“Walmart’s crazy, exclaimed Matthew Scott of Irondequoit.  “Stay away from Walmart, places like that. Five Below, [Marketplace] Henrietta mall, stuff like that. Crazy.”


Scott ventured into the East Ridge Road Wegmans on a mission for just those few essentials before Christmas.  “ I’ve got to make my sweet potato pie,” he explained. “And regular things, bread, water, fruits vegetables, things like that.”

With the hour too late for online shopping, crowds swept into shopping centers like the Mall at Greece Ridge.  Zenovia Nelson of Rochester took her mother, her children, her grandchildren and great grandchildren to the mall as a family tradition and, crowds notwithstanding, declared herself comfortable with spending money on Christmas Eve.  “Crazy today,” she said.  “It’s a lot of people but I’m finding some good sales.”

“I just spent all my money,” admitted Annabella Murch of Breece. “I’m pretty certain I only have, like, nine dollars. But I work so I’ll get it right back.”

That confidence was common according to the national Retail Federation which predicted 2018 Christmas spending would be up by 4.8% over last year.

That spending made for a frenetic day for Jim Murphy of Irondequoit who made not one but two trips to Wegmans on Christmas Eve.“

“Well, everybody runs out of roasting pans and Velveeta, right?” he laughed as he carted a foil roasting plan and block of Velveeta from the store.  “And dessert. That’s another last-minute pick, right? Entirely normal every year I promise.”

The final hour commerce marathon reached its real final hour when The Marktplace Mall in Henrietta, The Mall at Greece Ridge and the Eastview Mall in Victor, as well as all Wegmans supermarkets in New York state closed their doors at 6 pm Monday.

“I thought it would be crazier than this actually,” declared Connie Juda of Irondequoit who brought support from her son, home from college. “Go in with a good mood, it’s fine.  Everybody was friendly.”


Charles Molineaux

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