Desperate Retailers Offer 24-Hour Shopping

More stores are extending hours to catch last-minute shoppers, night owls
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Dec 22, 2008 7:51 AM CST
A sign displaying the store's extended holiday hours is seen at Macy's at Woodfield Mall, Thursday, Dec. 18, 2008, in Shaumburg, Ill.   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
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(Newser) – With the holiday shopping season on track to be the worst in decades, more struggling retailers like Toys "R" Us, Macy's, and Wal-Mart are opting to keep their doors open 24 hours the last few days, hoping to entice last-minute shoppers and night-owls, reports the Wall Street Journal. "In this kind of environment, you do whatever it takes," says one economist.

Analysts say retail sales are down 2% from a year ago for the 6 weeks to Dec. 13, and this past weekend, which usually brings in 11.5% of the season’s sales, is shaping up to be woeful. So gambling on the 16% of people who say they like late hours is logical—"People would be surprised at how little it costs" to stay open, says one industry watcher.