Free Shipping Day helps procrastinators

1,100 retailers offer free shipping, delivery by Dec. 24

SAN ANTONIO – It's a holiday gift for slowpokes and procrastinators: Free Shipping Day. Friday, more than 1,100 retailers are offering free shipping with guaranteed delivery by Dec. 24.

The freebie began at the beginning of the recession to entice people to shop online. Since then, it's grown to a $1.3 billion day for e-commerce.

Several large retailers, including Walmart and Target, are listed as participants on freeshipping.com as well as hundreds of smaller shops.

There is apparently plenty of procrastinating going on. According to a survey by Retail-me-not.com, 30 percent of holiday shoppers will do the majority of their shopping Christmas week.

"I still don't know what to get some people," Hector Castillo said.

He was shopping with his brother, Joaquin Castillo, who also is a bit behind.

"I look at the calendar, and I'm like, 'Oh, shoot!'" he said.

Marcey and Carl Loyd are admitted procrastinators who estimate they've only done about 25 percent of their shopping.

"But we have a good list," Marcey Loyd said.

Another plus for late-season shoppers is the deals. Typically, the deeper into December the calendar gets, the deeper the discounts.

Approximately 10 percent of shoppers have called it a wrap, according to the latest survey for the National Retail Federation. For everyone else, many stores are offering extended hours.

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