Small stores reap benefit as online window for delivery by Christmas Eve closes

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- It's crunch time for online retailers to get orders to their customers by Christmas Eve.

This opens an opportunity for small shops across the Bay Area to fulfill last-minute gift buying now that the delivery window is closed.

It's four days of holiday bliss for small shops on "Main Street" in San Jose.

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Last-minute shoppers are pouring into stores because, with few exceptions, the window has closed for guaranteed doorstep delivery of gifts purchased online.

"It is going to be very busy. Probably our busiest weekend of the year," said Kim Lipsett, owner of the dog boutique Gussied Up.

She has weathered the competition for nearly 15 years, including online. Here, and at other shops along Lincoln Avenue, customers are aware this is their fail-safe option to get a gift purchased by Christmas.

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Online shoppers tell ABC7 News they know what they want and are looking for a low price, but retail customers may find themselves tempted by impulse buys when an item catches their eye. That helps boost sales for shopkeepers.

Charlotte Brown and Andrew Suttle were among many shoppers who appeared to be buying a lot today.

"Probably more than we should," chuckled Charlotte.

Last-minute shoppers do make a sacrifice when they need to go to a store.

"Yeah, you have to get dressed and leave the house, so there's a perk to staying home and shopping online," said San Jose shopper Mary Casey. "But it's nice to get out and see people shopping and support the local stores."

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Local stores also can provide another perk - complimentary gift wrapping service.

For four-legged shoppers like Daisy, she gets treats when she comes to this store. She also gets to sniff around for good deals.

From the looks of things, small shops still have plenty of selection.

"It's really important. It's great for us," said Magpie shop associate Niko LaValle. "We really rely on this time of year. People coming up, buying gifts, so having these last-minute shoppers... We're really pleased."
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