Weather, School Closures Get in the Way of Holiday Shopping in Middletown

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With just one week left until Christmas, time is running out to finish up that holiday shopping. For many on Tuesday, the weather and school closures got in the way of what could have been a productive day.

“I figured I’d brave the weather and give it a go,” said Maria Robinson from East Hampton. She took advantage of the emptier shops to check final Christmas items off her list in Middletown. “It’s nice because there aren’t too many people here.”

While the quieter day may have been convenient for those shoppers who made it out, local store owners said bad weather isn’t ideal for business during their busiest week of the year. 

“We had a late opening,” said Brian Wraight, the Store Manager at Wesleyan R.J. Julia Bookstore in Middletown. “Roads were pretty nasty, but we wanted to make sure staff and customers got in safely.”

At Amato’s Toy and Hobby Shop Middletown, the slower pace gave staff a chance to prepare for what will be a busy upcoming week.

“It gives the elves a chance to regroup and restock the shelves and be ready for everybody shopping tomorrow,” store owner, Diane Gervais said.

Despite the weather, it was a busy day for delivery drivers dropping off packages to families who did their holiday shopping online.

“It’s just been nonstop,” delivery driver Jason Guest said. “This is the busiest time of year, but we just keep going.” 

In 2018, December 17 was the single busiest day of the year for USPS deliveries in Connecticut. Officials said 2.3 million pieces of mail came out of their Hartford Processing Distribution Center that day, and in the entire month of December, over 27 million packages were delivered in the area.

Now that the clock is ticking to get those deliveries wrapped and under the tree on time, USPS said little things –  like clearing your walkway so delivery drivers can safely deliver your gifts to your front door – can make all the difference.

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