Retail chains will be happy to welcome back the Internet and mobile shoppers who have forgotten them in the 2012 Christmas holiday shopping season this week. After the best shipping options for Christmas delivery gets pricey, old-fashioned retail stores with merchandise you can touch run by people you can talk to become the preferred Christmas shopping destination by default.
Instead of being bitter, retailers like Macy's (M) and Toys 'R Us have announced that they will welcome shoppers back to the 3-D retail shopping world with extreme extended store hours and shopping marathons. When Macy's and Toys 'R Us announced their 24/7 store hours starting December 21st, an unspoken challenge was issued to retail competitors to "top that."
So far, no other retail chains have taken that Macy's and Toys 'R Us extreme extended store hours challenge. In fact, chains like Best Buy (BBY), Target (TGT), and Neiman Marcus seem completely unfazed by the Macy's and Toys 'R Us store hours announcements and are (so far) sticking to their own previously announced Christmas shopping extended store hours, which are mundane by comparison.
Best Buy, Target, and Neiman Marcus seem to all have come to the same conclusion that even last-minute Christmas holiday shoppers need to sleep sometime. And that time, they have collectively decided, is after 11:00 PM. Belk and Hudson's Bay seem to concur with this 11:00 PM lights out time.
Other retailers like Old Navy (GPS), Foot Locker (FL), and OfficeMax (OMX) are happy to close up shop even earlier and send shoppers over to Best Buy, Target and Neiman Marcus for the last, desperate, grumpy shopping hours of the day. Best Buy, Target, and Neiman are happy to give their last shoppers of the night maps to Macy's and Toys 'R Us for some bedraggled third shift shopping.
It's quite an elegant cooperative consumer pass off, if you look at it from a broad perspective.
But no doubt aggressive retail competition will heat up and squash that cooperative illusion soon enough since there are plenty of retail chains that haven't yet published extended store hours for this week, for Super Saturday weekend starting December 21st, or store opening and closing times for Christmas Eve. Physical store retail chains are likely waiting until after the Free Shipping Day milestone on December 17th, when it will be easier to recapture consumer attention.
In the meantime you can get a look at which stores are open which hours on which days with these links:
- Extended Store Hours and December Shopping Times for the 2012 Christmas Shopping Season
- 2012 Christmas Eve Store Hours
- Store Opening and Closing Times for Day After Christmas Sales
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