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Sprint to Christmas: Several retailers to remain open right up to holiday’s eve

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Customers line up at Winrock’s Toys R Us store on Thanksgiving Day last month. Toys R Us joins a number of retailers planning to stay open straight through to Christmas Eve. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

Customers line up at Winrock’s Toys R Us store on Thanksgiving Day last month. Toys R Us joins a number of retailers planning to stay open straight through to Christmas Eve. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

With a week to go 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.

Toys R Us will throw its doors wide starting at 6 a.m. Saturday – 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. today 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.

Kohl’s operates five stores in New Mexico, including three in Albuquerque. Toys R Us has two Albuquerque locations and one in Santa Fe.

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.

Not all retailers are planning all-nighters to accommodate panicky consumers.

On Dec. 24, Kmart stores will be open from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. – six more hours of shopping than last year but short of the round-the-clock schedule of some other chains.

Sears shops will be open one fewer hour than in 2012, with shoppers welcome from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Target’s schedule has barely changed from last year, with plans to open the day before Christmas from 7 a.m. until either 9 p.m. or 10 p.m., depending on the store.

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