HOUGHTON - David Cladas of Baraga, browsing at Houghton's Book World Tuesday, said car trouble kept him from getting his shopping done earlier in the season, while a local teen shopping at Rhythm Ski, Bike and Skate shop blamed her mom's disorganization.
Regardless of their reasons, last-minute holiday shoppers kept many local retailers busy until near closing Christmas Eve, helping bring a strong finish to what most retailers saw as a good season.
"Yesterday was solid in here, and it's been exceptionally busy today also," said Rick Freeman, owner of Northwoods Trading Post in Hancock.
"It's been nuts all day," agreed Shopko Customer Service Supervisor Katrina Tormala, while Tony Bausano, owner of Copper World in Calumet, described his shop as packed.
A few retailers saw things taper off the last few days before Christmas despite good overall seasons, such as the Community Arts Center in Hancock.
"I think people are pretty organized about how they're spending their money," said Executive Director Cynthia Cote.
Others noted that while traffic continued, most big-ticket items had been purchased earlier.
"The last couple days we've sold lots of small items: belts, socks, stuff like that," said Brent Bonini, owner of Quincy Footwear in Hancock.