NEW ORLEANS - On Saturday stores were crowded as shoppers picked out last minute holiday gifts.

Shoppers said they experienced heavy traffic getting to Lakeside Mall. Once getting to the mall, crowds were everywhere.

“It's crazy you know it's really packed. Yesterday there weren't as many people at all," one shopper said.

Some shoppers managed to get an early start before more people started heading out for their Christmas shopping too.

"We got here around 11. We found a spot right away, so you got here early before the rush,” one shopper suggested.

Some people bought gifts for their loved ones, but hung on to their receipts just in case.

"This is for my mom, she's really picky it's hard and I'm hoping she will like it, she can always exchange,” another shopper said.

The National Retail Foundation predicts holiday sales in November and December will increase between 3.6 percent for a total of $682 billion up from $655 billion last year.

Part of the reason for the increase is because Christmas falls 32 days after Thanksgiving this year.

Folks have one more day to shop and since Christmas falls on a Monday it allows an extra weekend day to those last-minute gifts.