Shop with small local businesses to avoid holiday shipping delays

Published: Dec. 15, 2022 at 4:53 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 16, 2022 at 11:58 AM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The busiest shopping day of the year is Saturday, and the fear of missing shipping deadlines has shoppers staying local to finish their lists.

We spoke to a local boutique in Aiken, and they say Wednesday was the deadline for holiday shipping. Now they’re encouraging everyone to come in to finish that last-minute shopping.

The Saturday before Christmas is the busiest day of the year. We found out how local businesses are preparing both here in Aiken and in Augusta.

“You definitely see a much bigger increase of traffic on that last weekend, that last Friday and Saturday before Christmas,” said Ginger Bee Boutique Owner Brooke Thomas.

For Ginger Bee, the next two days will be all about preparing for that crowd.

“For this weekend, we are making sure all of our stocking stuffers are in the front of the store as soon as you walk in, you’re able to see those, then we’re making everything else throughout the store very accessible,” she said.

Across the river in Augusta, food retailer Watanut is also anticipating a busy weekend. Brian Kyzer is the owner. He said, “The weekend right before Christmas is always a really busy weekend. I’m hoping it will be again this year.”

Holiday prep means preparing food and increasing staff to help customers find the perfect gift.

“We’ve got all our nuts and cookies on the bar where they can sample them and try them. They can actually see their gift, put it together. A lot of people like to do that,” he said.

Both stores do take orders to send by mail. As shipping deadlines pass, they say there are some advantages to shopping in person for last-minute gifts.

“Tuesday is about your deadline to get it there before Christmas. So they come in, we can get it out that day or the next. They get the personal experience of us trying to help them out.”

Thomas said: “You don’t know if it’s going to be able to get there in time. Once we deliver it to the post office, it is out of our hands. We hope you will be able to get it by Christmas, but we really suggest shopping in-store.”

They’re encouraging shoppers to support locals when getting last-minute gifts. Shopping in person is going to be crucial as we get closer to Christmas.

A local shipping agency we spoke to says Monday is the last day for shipping before Christmas. Even then, getting items in time or sending them out is a toss-up.