POSTED: Thursday, December 22, 2011 - 3:40pm
UPDATED: Thursday, December 22, 2011 - 3:41pm
Time is running out if you haven't finished your Christmas shopping.
With just a few days left before Christmas, the race is on for shoppers, shippers and retailers.
"25% of Americans have yet to begin their holiday shopping yet at this point, that's up 17% from a year ago," says Consumer Reports' Tod Marks.
Many are spending less overall in this uncertain economy.
Others are holding out for better deals.
Online shopping is up 15 percent this season compared to last year, and some stores are having trouble meeting the demand.
Best Buy announced thursday they won't be able to fill some customer orders in time for delivery on Christmas.
Retailers overall are trying to make up for sluggish sales since Black Friday weekend, when shoppers spent a record $52 billion.
In the final days remaining, experts say stores will be slashing prices further and counting on those who procrastinate to splurge
"People tell us that when they shop at the 23rd hour they tend to spend much more than they planned to," says Marks. "They are so desperate to get their shopping done that they will bust their budget to get what they have to do and get out."
Shoppers can also still get gift cards and find last minute deals online for free shipping.