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Many last-minute shoppers avoid holiday rush by shopping at small businesses

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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -

It's holiday crunch time. As many last-minute shoppers flock to big box stores and local malls, others are opting for what they call an easier, more stress-free approach that allows them to shop small at the same time.

"She covered everybody else so, really, my only obligation is her so that's why it's very embarrassing."

Local Javier Pordroy only had one person on his list.

"My wife," said Pordroy.

Now, a day before Christmas Eve and that list still stands.

"It's the same thing every year. I say I'm going to do something on Amazon a month before but I always forget," Pordroy admits.

Luckily, the folks at a local Magazine Street boutique have him covered with several suggestions for the perfect pick.

Small business owners along this now thriving corridor say it's one way they distinguish themselves from big box stores and online shopping, especially during the holidays.

"Service is everything," said Feet First Manager Kagan Taylor. "You have to give somebody another experience like, a different experience you get from the Zappos experience or being online."

Taylor says the holidays are their bread and butter, aside from Fest season and this year is no different.

"We do get a nice wave of tourists coming in," Taylor said. "The quarter now, since a lot of that is under construction, we're getting a lot of waves of people coming Uptown."

That's not to say competing with big business isn't still a challenge.

"Sometimes we even have to do price matching because, we have computers in our pockets so, people are walking around, they're doing their holiday shopping so they might see something in here but there's a possibility Amazon might have it cheaper," Taylor explained.

Other retailers say convenience is also a big selling point for locally owned businesses on Magazine.

"People are very last-minute shoppers and this is definitely a great place. Just walk on Magazine and you can shop anywhere," said Trendz Sales Associate Emily Bagwill. "Mostly everything here is a local shop and you're just supporting New Orleans."

Locals say this strip is a no-brainer for those who want to avoid the holiday rush.

"It's quieter. Honestly, I feel like Lakeside Mall is a mess. It's like, parking is crazy. So, I'm down here and parked in two minutes and we're here shopping now. So, walking up and down the street is very easy. You don't have to deal with all these people," explained shopper Carolyn Abadie.

"I like walking outside and started dipping into stores," Pordroy said. "I didn't want to go to the mall and I think it has different things. I think more, I don't know, personal. Not so commercial."

And for Pordroy, it was also a success.

"And next year, I will do better," said Pordroy.

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