One-stop gift card shop seeing large crowd as shopping days dwindle

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – Shoppers feeling the Christmas crunch are turning to gift cards as presents for family and friends. Many of them seem to be going to a one-stop gift card shop, creating an overload of customers and traffic.

While some said it took them half an hour to get through the intersection of Route 224 and South Avenue on Friday, others said it took 10 minutes just to get out of the Boardman Giant Eagle parking lot.

The grocery store on Doral Drive is the place to go to get gift cards for everyone on your list.

Customers stop by the gift card section, contemplating which ones to get, how many and how much to spend.

The main gift card wall is 24 feet long.  At any given time, you can find 10 to 20 people around it. In the half hour WKBN 27 First News was there, at least a hundred people came through.

“It’s a very busy section of the store, yes,” said store manager Andy Bell.

He said they sell 200 different gift cards – easily the most in one place anywhere around Youngstown.

The display is logo factory – Kohls, Home Depot, Kmart and JCPenney, just to name a few.

Samantha Rotz, of Struthers, said gift cards are the way to go with her two older boys. She wasn’t sure which ones to choose at first.

“It just depends on what their interests are…right now,” Rotz said.

New Middletown’s Eric Shoemaker, on the other hand, knew exactly what he wanted – iTunes and Home Depot.

“I didn’t think there was going to be this many people here,” he said.

Carol Coleman, of Poland, spent 10 to 15 minutes looking for her four kids, in-laws and grandchildren.

She summed up gift card Christmas shopping pretty well:

“When you run out of gifts and they don’t give you a good list, you give them gift cards.”

The Boardman Giant Eagle is open until 5 p.m. on Christmas Even and closed on Christmas Day.