Minnesotans squeeze in last-minute shopping before winter storm takes full effect

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The winter storm making its way through Minnesota is causing a rush to the stores.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS was at the Cub Foods in St. Paul’s Midway neighborhood, which was busy throughout the day Wednesday.

Shoppers said they were trying to finish shopping for Christmas groceries and gifts before road conditions worsened.

“I just decided, ‘Well, I’m out so I’m going to hurry up and get the last-minute stuff I can,'” said Mary Novak, who was at Cub on Wednesday morning.

Shoppers reported long lines at many stores in the metro, ranging anywhere from five to 40 minutes long, depending on the time of day and store location.

“Yeah, it’s extremely busy. I really think people are just getting ready to hunker down,” said Hilton Randle, who also shopped at Cub on Wednesday.

Shopper Tabatha Lavoi added, “There’s a long line at Cub, as of anywhere. I was at Target, and the lines are long there, too. I left earlier this morning, but it’s still going slow because of the weather and the lines.”

According to the National Retail Federation, the days leading up to the Christmas holiday can be some of the busiest shopping days of the year.

They expect this year to be record-breaking, forecasting holiday retail sales during November and December will be up to 8% higher than last year, ranging between $942.6 billion and $960.4 billion.

The NRF also predicts at least half of Americans won’t finish their holiday shopping until the week before Christmas, adding to the rush at the stores.

“I think people are trying to get it done quickly today because of all the snow, so it’s kind of a race against the clock, between the snow and the weekend coming up,” said Emily Goff, who was shopping at multiple stores in St. Paul on Wednesday.

Americans are expected to spend $832.84 on average on gifts and holiday items such as decorations and food, in line with the average for the last 10 years.