Anxious retailers stretch holiday hours

With less than a week before Christmas, retailers are in full battle mode, with many unveiling plans to keep their stores open for marathon stretches to give last-minute gift buyers every opportunity to spend.
MCT Wire
Dec 19, 2013

Toys R Us will throw its doors wide starting at 6 a.m. Dec. 21 — the consumption craze known as Super Saturday — and won’t wrap up until 9 p.m. Christmas Eve. During that 87-hour spree, the chain also will tempt customers with price-matching programs, a constant cycle of inventory updates and discounts on hot items such as the Furby Boom toy.

In New York’s Times Square, the Toys R Us store has been open since 8 a.m. Dec. 1 and will remain operational through 10 p.m. on Dec. 24 in an unprecedented 566-hour run.

Then there’s Kohl’s, whose doors will stay unlocked for more than 100 straight hours for the first time. From 6 a.m. on Dec. 20 through 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve, shoppers will have access to free gift boxes and the ability to order from a wider assortment of goods listed in digital in-store kiosks.

Stores are throwing extended hours, price-matching guarantees, shipping deals and door-buster-style deals at consumers — anything to smooth their path to splurging.

Merchants are facing big challenges this year.

The sour memory of a less-than-spectacular Black Friday weekend is still fresh. The industry is already most of the way through the shortest Thanksgiving-to-Christmas stretch in a decade. And consumer confidence remains fragile.

Harsh weather in the Midwest and Northeast over the weekend caused bricks-and-mortar retail sales last Saturday to plunge 5.4 percent from the same period last year at malls and other shopping venues as foot traffic tanked nearly 26 percent, according to data firm ShopperTrak.

Failure to move merchandise before Christmas will likely require even steeper discounting in the waning days of December for retailers to clear shelves for spring inventory, said ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin. With all-night holiday schedules, businesses are probably hoping to draw shoppers who work the late shift, teenagers and any other consumers they’ve missed during daylight hours.

“There are a lot of nervous retailers right now,” Martin said. “It’s a fingers-crossed situation.”

Comments

bigdeal

Then there are the GH downtown retailers who open at noon and close their doors at 6pm. Too bad there are no good light shows to draw people downtown during their extended hours. Oh well, it's late. Guess I'll go to big-box, they stay open 24 hours and have a great low-price supply of crap due to buying power.

LBG53

My husband and I had the same thought as we drove through town Monday night and there was no one there. The light show sure would have hampered all that shopping!

LessThanAmused

Dang, you beat me to it. That's the last time I sign off during the dinner hour.

LessThanAmused

Not to be contrary, but I headed off to Home Depot (the definition of big box) the other night about 7:30 and they were closed!
I couldn't finish my little project so I got online and terrorized the forums, all the ones I'm a member of, not just this one!

Lanivan

I'll bet the folks who are hot over the War on Christmas will be furious over this materialistic display of base, greedy, and mercenary scrounging for sales that serves to side-track people from the real reason for the season. I can just imagine them grabbing their snow-white stuffed Santas and marching in protest, or at least blaming Obama.

I await the storm of indignation,.....crickets.....

Tri-cities realist

Chirp chirp

Barry Soetoro

Especially when they should be blaming Reagan for this mess.

Lanivan

Correct. And then there is the further desecration of the sanctity of the season when W, after a couple three too many beers with friends, stole a Christmas tree wreath from a hotel. A direct correlation if there ever was one.

Barry Soetoro

Right. W should have just stuck to doing a little blow with the Choom-Choom Gang.

Lanivan

I'm having a hard time imagining you doing a little blow with the Choom-Choom Gang during Christmas. Which reminds me of the joke about the new restaurant for deer in Ferrysburg. I ran into a doe coming out, and asked her how the new restaurant was, and she said.....dang! - forgot the punchline! Guess it wasn't sarcastic enough....

bigdeal

she said, "I'll never do that for a buck again!"

Lanivan

Yes - it was something like that, if memory serves me correctly. You sure can deliver a punchline, bd!

SignalMaintainer

Well, it looks like I am blocked from posting links. I was going to post a very relevant video, but I guess not.

rukidding

Not just you happened to me yesterday too, come to think of it, I haven't seen a link in the last couple of days; maybe that is taboo now.

LessThanAmused

Really? Guess I need to try again. That would be great if it's true.

Can you cut and paste??? Same result, little more work.

LessThanAmused

Look, I posted a link!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-...

Remember music?

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