Retailers extend deals, hours just before Christmas


BOZEMAN, Mont. - It's getting down to the wire for those of you still doing your holiday shopping.

Many stores are offering extended hours and discounted prices as they make their final push for the holiday shopping rush.

The Gallatin Valley Mall was swarming with last minute shoppers Monday evening.

"It's always fun to shop at the last minute," said shopper Roger Koopman. "It's more adventuresome, and there's a sense of desperation and urgency. It just is more fun at the holiday season."

NBC Montana ran into Roger Koopman as he was checking off his gift list. He said his last minute holiday shopping is a tradition for him. "I always want until the last minute and glom onto a whole bunch of stuff and it usually ends up being great," Koopman said.

This year, people had less time to buy Christmas gifts because the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas was a whole week shorter than usual, and workers at the mall said they can tell.

"It's been hectic and it's been fun," said Mark Koscinski, the Security Manager at the Gallatin Valley Mall. "The amount of traffic has been exceptional this year."

"It was like total insanity but it's been great," said Kelly Descheemaeker, the manager at the Sunglass Hut, "it made time go by really fast."

Many last minute shoppers are scoring huge deals while stores have extended hours and are offering large discounts, some up to 75 percent.

K-Mart and Macy's have special holiday hours, and this year, for the first time ever, Kohls is keeping their doors open for more than 100 hours straight. They began at 6 in the morning on Friday, and will wrap up at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

Retailers said their customers seem grateful for the extra time to shop, and the price cuts.

"I've had some panicked shoppers who literally just walk up and say, 'I'll take whatever you can give me,'" said Theresa Blum, a sales associate in the mall.

While this part of the holiday season can get frantic as shoppers rush to grab gifts, for Koopman, it's the part he enjoys the most.

"I'll be shopping right to the bitter end," he said.