MANHATTAN — Holiday shoppers rushed to Macy's and other stores around Manhattan looking for last minute deals and gifts for loved ones.
“It’s really stressful,” said Leticia Rios, 45, from San Antonio, Texas, of her shopping experience at the Herald Square department store, which closes at 6 p.m. “It’s a huge store with eight floors. We have to work from the eighth one down to the ground floor for the gift."
Rios said she was looking for a sweater for her grandmother and at times she thought she was afraid she couldn’t find it.
“I never wait 'til this late to do the shopping. We were like, ‘OMG, I may not find the gift for my grandmother.’"
After more than an hour, Rios and her husband finally found the sweater they were hunting for on the third floor.
“I love Christmas,” said the IT programmer.
The run-up to the holidays has been a frantic shopping season with record-breaking Black Friday sales and a busy Cyber Monday.
On Friday, the release of the new model of Nike Air Jordan sneakers set of pandemonium at several spots around the country.
Outside Seattle, police used pepper spray to break up a brawl at a mall after a crowd of about 1,000 had gathered overnight, the Associated Press said. And a man was stabbed in a fight in Jersey City over the popular $180 shoes, a limited release of an older model.
And Best Buy drew fire for canceling some orders from November and December just days before Christmas citing overwhelming demand, according to the New York Times.
But the retailer said that less than 1 percent of orders had been canceled, the paper said.
Shoppers were trying to get their hands on last minute gifts Saturday before stores closed. Best Buy in Union Square is open until 7 p.m., Bloomingdale's on 59th Street is open untl 6:30 p.m. and Saks closes at 6.
Anthony, a police officer from The Bronx who did not want to give his last name, said he arrived at Macy's at 8 a.m. with a long shopping list for his wife.
“Jewelry, perfumes, bags and clothes,” he said. “She’s a good wife, you know.”
Despite the late hour, the officer said that it was a good time to shop because of the bargains and deals.
“You just take your time," he said. "Now it’s a good time for shopping. Most stuff is 50 percent off.”
The officer said he would be relaxing at home afterward because the holidays were mainly “for the kids.”
“They are waiting for it,” he said.
Fabiana Cassaro, of Sao Paulo, Brazil, meanwhile was looking for a sports watch for her father.
“It’s not my first time shopping here in New York. It’s the best place for shopping,” explained the 29-year-old compliance officer.
“I love Christmas. I got an X-box present from my husband this year,” said the 29-year-old.