Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

It's the Thought, Not the Timing

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

It's the Thought, Not the Timing

Article excerpt

Hey all you procrastinators.

You know who you are.

The ones who start your Christmas shopping 24 hours before the actual gift-giving begins. Sales clerks call you the "just-in-time" crowd. You've even been spotted begging mall security to let you in after closing. Well, save the grovelling for another season. This is the year for you. To capitalize on the frenetic pace of the American way of life, most catalog retailers now offer express holiday delivery. For a few extra bucks, you can order that sweater or DVD player as late as Dec. 23 and it will arrive on time. "You'd be hard-pressed to find a catalog that doesn't offer this service," says Scott Krugman, a spokesman for the National Retail Federation in Washington. "People are very busy. It's difficult to find the time to do your shopping. Retailers understand this," says Mr. Krugman, a last-minute shopper himself. "When I get a catalog that says, 'We guarantee delivery by this date,' I'm relieved. I know I don't have to panic." He's hardly alone. Nine out of 10 people plan to shop at the last minute this holiday season, says one survey. (See item, bottom, right.) The survey also found that half of holiday shopping procrastinators put the people closest to them (spouses, parents, relatives) at the bottom of their gift lists. Enter express delivery, which means: No more excuses (that means you, guys). For example: * Hickory Farms (www.hickoryfarms.com) in Maumee, Ohio, guarantees delivery by Christmas on all orders placed as late as noon (EST) Dec. 24. For a $25 shipping charge, it will express everything from a beef and cheese gift basket to an entire turkey or ham dinner with all the trimmings. * Lands' End (www.landsend.com) guarantees delivery by Christmas on all orders placed by midnight (EST) Dec. 23. Last year the company received 20,000 calls on that day. …

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