Stores accommodate last-minute shoppers

List in hand, some shoppers start before dawn looking for items

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Some big box retailers are taking last-minute shopping to the extreme -- staying open around the clock the final day before Christmas.

"I love it. I love the crowds; everything," said Angela McManigal.

McManigal and her co-workers drove from Camden County to knock out some Christmas gift shopping, including a stop at Toys R Us, which is one of several stores staying open 24 hours a day in advance of the holiday.

"To accommodate everyone's schedule, that's great. Good for them," McManigal said, but added, "I can't believe it, it's just gotten too commercialized."

Toys R Us opened at 6 a.m. Friday and will remain open until 10 p.m. Christmas Eve -- 88 straight hours.  And they are not alone.  Walmart and Macy's stores were open 24 hours in advance of the holiday.  Macy's stores will at 6 p.m. Monday, while most Walmarts will close their doors at 8 p.m.

"All I can tell them is come out here in some nice walking shoes and be prepared," Target shopper Sherryl Crooks said. "You got to come out here with a good attitude because somebody's going to bump or something."

The overnight hours at some store did raise some security concerns.

"I would have my husband or a friend with me," one shopper said. "I would never come out by myself at night."

Toys R Us told Channel 4 they addressed those issues.

"The safety and security of our customers and employees is our highest priority," store spokeswoman Alyssa Peera said. "We determine each Toys R Us locations' safety and security plans on a store-by-store basis, including additional security shifts during overnight hours, as well as other measures."

Last-minute shopping at the mall

Many shoppers out shopping at the St. Johns Town Center on Sunday night say they didn't have time or they didn't feel like dealing with the crowds. Some people actually prefer to wait until the last minute.

Reginald Johnson had a very valuable piece of information that will help him navigate through the final hours of the shopping season: a list.

"She wants skates. She wants a dress. She wants a coat; a Hello Kitty CD player.  She wanted a doctor's toy, and a watch," said Johnson.

Others say they refuse to take part in the Black Friday hype at the beginning of the shopping season.

"I don't think it's worth waiting for something you get 10 or 15 bucks off on something you're waiting five hours in line for.  I can't justify that," said John Crocker.

The shops at St. Johns Town Center, the Avenues, Orange Park and Regency Square malls will close at 6 p.m. Monday.

Target stores are open until 9 p.m. and Kmarts until 10 p.m.

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