Last-minute Christmas shoppers crowd Valley View Mall in Roanoke

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) - The countdown to Christmas is on and shoppers both young and old felt the pressure of the holiday looming at Valley View Mall in Roanoke Thursday.

"We are shopping for my nieces and nephews," said Jenna Holt.

She and her mom joined the crowds to finish up their shopping.

"There actually are more people than usual"

Jonathan Gove is a Valley View mall employee who has seen the crowds grow each day leading up to Christmas.

"There is a lot of people coming in here and trying to get Christmas presents you see a lot of people running in and out of stores seeing if you have this, seeing if you have that."

While economy experts say malls have fallen out of vogue in recent years, for many at this time of year the mall is a procrastinator's paradise.
Christopher Newman chose the mall over online shopping to wrap up his gift buying list.

"I worried it wouldn't get here in time if you ordered offline, also you get to choose whatever you want," said Newman.

The National Retail Federation says 53-percent, that's 126 million people, plan to shop this weekend to meet the Christmas gift deadline.

"I don't do too much ordering online but I wouldn't think I'd be able to get it before Christmas if I ordered it today," said shopper Frank Jones.

According to the NRF, 51-percent of last-minute shoppers plan to shop online, but the rest will come to malls and other stores to shop in person.