Rochester, N.Y. – Shopping malls were crowded Sunday, with people shopping for last-minute gifts.
But some avoided the malls and opted to shop in independent neighborhood stores.
“It was like all of a sudden, Christmas was just here,” said Stephanie Coco, who stopped in Parkleigh on Park Avenue for some last minute shopping.
“I'm trying to do one stop shopping right here,” said Coco.
Across the street at A Step Apart they've seen an increase in shoppers this weekend, said owner Cindy Geller.
“In the last week, it's picked up to equal last year,” said Geller, “and in fact we're doing better.”
Part of the increase is more people wanting to shop local, said Geller.
“I've heard more of that this year then ever before, and I'm so grateful,” said Geller.
Shop owners in the South Wedge are seeing a similar trend.
“I think we've had one of the busiest Christmas seasons that we've ever had,” said Sandy Brazis, owner of the South Wedge store Thread.
Just last month Thread was burglarized; much of their winter apparel was stolen. But regardless, the community has helped make this holiday shopping season a successful one, said Brazis.
“A lot of people have come in and supported not only us but a lot of people in the neighborhood,” said Brazis, “and just realized how important it is to shop local.”
Down the street, even the newest store on the block, The Little Bleu Cheese Shop, had a steady flow of customers.
“We've been open two weeks tomorrow,” said Anne Duckett, owner of the shop.
Even in that amount of time it's obvious, people want to support their local stores, said Duckett.
All the stores we spoke with will be open Christmas Eve for those last, last minute shoppers.