Last minute shoppers take advantage of stores' extended hours - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Last minute shoppers take advantage of stores' extended hours

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CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) -

If you waited until the last minute to shop for Christmas - you are not alone. Stores have been bustling with last-minute shoppers all day, and tonight, some places are staying open late.

Toys R Us stores, nationwide, are open until 10 p.m. and many stores are depending on those last minute purchases to boost sales.

According to retail analysts, Americans say they're going to spend less money this holiday season. So far, sales numbers have reflected that sentiment.

Many have reported the recent Sandy Hook tragedy, Hurricane Sandy, overall poor economy and impending fiscal cliff have inhibited their festivities. 

At the Chesterfield Towne Center, you couldn't tell folks' holiday spirit was in decline.

"I figured not a lot of people would be here since it's Christmas Eve," said shopper Madison Morris. "I thought we could beat some lines."

Some lines because mostly, procrastinators are in good company.

The Toys-R-Us in Chesterfield was open around the clock leading up to Christmas so parents could grab hot-ticket items.

"I was out until 11 o'clock last night," said shopper Sam Wood. Others were out all night long.

The rush doesn't end with Christmas Day. A Chesterfield Towne Center spokeswoman expects the day after Christmas to be just as busy as Black Friday.

"People are going to be redeeming gift cards, maybe making some exchanges," said Kelly Wilkes, the Chesterfield Towne Center's marketing manager. "Of course there are some post-holiday sell-offs, bargains and deals throughout all the stores."

Even with slumping sales, retail analysts still predict Americans will spend about $550 billion dollars total this holiday season.

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