In a year where companies opened earlier than ever to squeeze every minute out of the holiday shopping season, some retailers are taking things a step further.
Macy’s stores all over the country, including at Westfield Franklin Park mall, will be open for 65 hours straight starting at 7 a.m. Friday and continuing until 11:59 p.m. Sunday. The Toledo store will then close for seven hours before being open Christmas Eve from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Toledo’s two Toys R Us stores will be open for 88 hours straight, from 6 a.m. Friday until 10 p.m. Monday, which is Christmas Eve.
Other retailers also have extended hours. But a Westfield Franklin Park spokesman said Macy’s is the mall’s only store that will be open overnight.
The trend of extended hours is something that consumers should expect to spread, said Gordon Gough, executive vice president of the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants. He pointed out that more companies opened on Thanksgiving or opened earlier on Black Friday.
“Customers want the convenience of longer hours,” he said. “Online sales are also a factor.”
Some brick-and-mortar businesses figure that if people can shop online at any hour, they should provide similar opportunities.
Macy’s set the tone of round-the-clock convenience for the holiday season’s homestretch when it announced that, for the first time, most of its 800 stores will be open from Friday morning until Sunday night. Some of its stores will stay open through Christmas Eve for more than 80 hours of continuous shopping.
Macy’s isn’t the first to offer round-the-clock shopping, but its announcement turned heads. Macy’s often sets the precedent for big retail — it was the company’s midnight Black Friday opening last year that spurred earlier openings at most big retailers this year.
“Macy’s takes the lead and others fall in line,” said MaryAnn Bekkedahl, a retail specialist and co-founder of Swizzle, an email service that manages retailer promotions.
Added Bob Hetu, a retail research director at the analysis firm Gartner: “I think that you’re probably going to see a kind of a domino effect.”
But for some stores, it was too late to change their schedules. Kohl’s, Sears, and Kmart already announced their stores will close no later than midnight on the final shopping days before Christmas.
“But it doesn’t mean that type of approach won’t be used next year,” said Kevin Sterneckert, Gartner’s research vice president. “The battle is under way.”
The Youngstown Vindicator and the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News contributed to this report.