Smaller crowds this year for last dash of holiday shopping

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (KGO) -- Just two days before Christmas, some Bay Area shoppers are hitting up malls and stores to pick up last-minute items. With the stay-at-home order in place, are more people rushing to stores or waiting for packages to arrive in the mail? ABC7 News went to the stores to find out.

Just after the doors opened at 8 this morning the first shoppers trickled into the Kohls in Redwood City to make returns, not purchases.

Katie Mo said she had already purchased the bulk of her Christmas items online this year.

RELATED: Holiday shoppers brave outdoor lines as stores enforce COVID-19 restrictions

That's the story of most shoppers the holiday season: dodging crowds to keep safe.

"Target had its lines outside, really keeping the social distancing and wiping down all of the self-checkout stations," said Mo.

In a year when the needs outweigh the wants several shoppers at a nearby Target said they are handing out gift cards this year, giving the gift of choice.

"(I'm) just running in and grabbing some gift cards for people who helped my son--who teach my son--and just going to give them a holiday gift. Quick and easy," said Jewel Stewart.

MORE: Parents scramble to find most-wished-for holiday gifts amid possible toy shortage

There were no lines to grab groceries at Safeway just a short drive away either.

"It's not really full like it was last year. Now it's a lot fewer people in there and all were safe, (wearing) masks," said Jose Martinez.

Costco, however, was packed with the parking lot over running just minutes after the store opened Wednesday morning.

A steady stream of shoppers entered the grocery store to stock up on ingredients to make Christmas traditions, and memories.

"My two girls are coming to make cookies at dad's house," said Randy Hollis, "$175 worth of them!"

And the most unconventional Christmas wish to make this bizarre year: a woman asking for the bare necessities.

"Santa, bring toilet paper back," said Carol Barros as she entered Target.
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