Shoppers waiting until the last minute to purchase presents packed stores around Northeast Ohio on Christmas Eve.
At SouthPark Mall in Strongsville, Marketing Director Andy Selesnik said they expected to see 27,000 holiday shoppers walk through their doors Thursday.
On an average Saturday, approximately 20,000 shoppers visit the malls' stores.
"Today is probably one of the top five days of the Christmas season, with Saturday before Christmas and Dec. 23 neck-in-neck for highest volume sales days," said Selesnik.
Many self-described procrastinators said they always put off their shopping until the night before Christmas.
"I'm not that motivated to do it a month or two weeks before so when the pressure is on, it's better for me," said Yanna Ware, who was picking out presents at the mall with her family.
"If you wait until the last minute, it only takes a minute," said Ron Frey, who told us it's a "tradition" to delay buying gifts.
Retailers are making it easier for shoppers to make Christmas Eve purchases this year.
Wal-Mart is open until 8 p.m. Target is open until 11 p.m.
Area malls, including SouthPark, Crocker Park and Beachwood Place, were open until 6 p.m.
According to a National Retail Federation Survey released on December 15, 90 percent of holiday shoppers were planning to make purchases in the 10 days before Christmas.
Although 21 percent of those surveyed owned up to procrastinating, many shoppers said they delayed buying gifts because they were struggling to decide what to purchase; needed more ideas from their family and friends; or were holding out for good deals on gifts.
Download the newsnet5 app: