Stores open for 100 hours to attract last-minute shoppers - Fox 2 News Headlines

Stores open for 100 hours, slash prices to attract last-minute shoppers

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

It was the shortest Christmas shopping season in a decade, with six fewer shopping days than last year. Amid reports that sales declined for three consecutive weeks, some nervous retailers slashed prices in the final hours, hoping to attract a flood of last-minute business.

Kmart was among a growing number of national chains who kept some stores open longer and later than usual this season, even on Christmas Eve. About 10% of Kmart's 1,100 stores stayed open until 10 p.m. on the night before Christmas, including one near 95th and Pulaski in Southwest suburban Oak Lawn. Many chains ended the holiday shopping season the way they began it, with a frenzy of promotion for staying open more than 100 consecutive hours.

"75% off Throughout the Store" proclaimed windows at Old Navy. The chain aired TV ads touting that its "after-holiday sale starts early." H&M's display windows in the Chicago Loop featured the same big discount number.

"Actually, I spent like $175. But I actually saved over $200," said Destiny Finley, a chronic last-minute shopper as she emerged from Old Navy at State and Randolph in Chicago.

Arley Silvestra, an employee of Old Navy, spent a few minutes finishing his own shopping. "I spent over $100 -- I saved over $100 with the coupons I used."

It wasn't ALL about bargains. Some who said they finished shopping days ago were Downtown to honor Christmas Eve traditions dating back to when the giant State Street Macy's store was owned by Marshall Field. Valerie Jardon and her husband brought their two young daughters to dine at the seventh-floor Walnut Rooms and to see the windows. "Yes, my Mom and my Grandmom always brought us here every year," Jardon said. "It's been 12 years we've been coming as a family."

Retail analysts say the Christmas shopping season that begins after Thanksgiving is when many stores make 20% of their total annual sales and 40% per cent of their profit. With overall sales nationwide reportedly having declined for three consecutive weeks, though, last-minute shoppers had their pick of bargains, including Nicole Johnson, who Always Shops on Christmas Eve: "My limit was $200 at Target. So, oh my gosh, I grab a couple things. As long as it's under 200 bucks, I'm good." She added that Christmas Eve is "the best time to shop."

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