Gridlock parking lots greet Triangle shoppers hitting malls just before Christmas

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Before shoppers could get their hands on any gifts, they spent time in the Crabtree Mall parking deck with standstill traffic.

“Check this out! He’s backing up on us”, described Alex Milkes of Raleigh while he was boxed in trying to get out of the parking lot.

“But honestly, I hit the chocolate store so I feel good about that, but here I am sitting in traffic, taking about 25 minutes to get out of here. You’d think they’d have just a little better infrastructure set up for this kind of thing.”

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Taylor Ruse had a similar experience on Friday.

“I actually just live two minutes down the road, but it’s going to take me 30 minutes to get home,” he said.

Once inside the mall, fingers clutched onto bags and feet raced down the hall, but some shoppers had a special appointment with a busy man.

The Joyner Family of Fuquay-Varina wanted to get in line for Santa Claus and one son said he wanted, “a happy Christmas and we wanted to get a picture with Santa, and you know enjoy it.”

He also had a feeling that talking to Mr. Claus three days before Christmas would secure his gifts under his tree.

Others weren’t waiting on Saint Nick to deliver the perfect gift.

“It’s daunting, cause he’s hard to shop for anyway and I’ve run out of time so I’m hoping I can find something,” said Kimberly Fischer of Wilson who was shopping for her husband with their daughter, Isabel.

Rahnesia Best has come to expect this experience if she’s shopping around this time of year.

“It’s chaotic, but you can’t really ask for too much more, especially three days before so it is what it is,” she said. “But, I like this. I enjoy the like spirit. The hustle and bustle and you know everyone being out.”

Hundreds more like these shoppers will be back over the next several hours and retailers say they’re ready for them.

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