All U.S. retail stores are open on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2011 for last-minute shopping and last-minute shoppers. For a complete list of Christmas Eve store opening and closing times at Wal-Mart , Target , Macy's Best Buy, and all retail stores, click here.
What happens when Christmas Eve, the last Saturday before Christmas, the day before Christmas, and the last day for last-minute shopping are all the same day? U.S. retail industry experts have ho-ho-hopeful predictions for a blockbuster finish to the 2011 Christmas holiday shopping season, as long as the unusually mild winter weather cooperates, which it's expected to do.
I always find it humorous when retail industry pundits conclude that weather conditions have authority over the resourcefulness of shoppers who want to spend money. When U.S. consumers have a desire to consume, they'll find a way to do it, especially when a purchase is just a computer click or smartphone tap away.
Many predicted that last-minute Christmas Eve shopping would be a day without last-minute deals, but the 159 discounts at Wal-Mart, the "thousands of deals" at Target, the "last minute gift sale" at Macy's, the "Day After Christmas Prices Now" at Kmart, the "Nick of Time" sales ad at jcpenney, and the Two-Day Flash-Marketplace-Real Deals at Sears are final proof that consumer deep discount desires trump retail plans and logic every time.
And, thanks to the technology that is transforming the very nature of the U.S. retail industry, if you need to shop on Christmas Eve 2011 but you want to avoid most of the last-minute shopping drama, you can do the looking and paying part online, and the picking up part in the physical store, as long as you're doing your shopping and spending on a website with a ship-to-store option.
Despite the Super-Saturday-Christmas-Eve-Last-Minute-Day-Before-Christmas-Eve deals, the purchase of choice for most last-minute shoppers is gift cards. Retailers who are aggressively pursuing a respectable share of the $28 billion Christmas season gift card market are offering freebies and bonuses with gift card purchases until their physical store doors close today.
Even after the last shopping day is done in physical stores and restaurant chains, the last-minute purchase of virtual gift cards will never end. In 2011 the sale of e-gift cards and e-gift certificates is expected to be $1 billion, which is aided by the increased number of retail and restaurant chains who have e-gift card and e-gift certificate offerings this year.
The fastest-growing gift card product in 2011 and beyond, though, is in mobile gift cards. When you can find, buy, and send a Christmas gift from smartphone to smartphone while the previews are playing in the movie theater, its easy to procrastinate and difficult to remember why you'd want to participate in the last-minute mall frenzy instead of enjoying a newly released Christmas Eve flick.
- Fast and Free Ship-to-Store Options from Retail Shopping Websites
- Extended Christmas Week Store Hours
- Christmas Eve Store Hours
- Stores Open Christmas Day
- e-Gift Cards and e-Gift Certificates Delivered Via E-mail
- Mobile Gift Cards Delivered Via Smartphone
- Virtual Gift Cards Delivered Via Facebook