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87 Hours of Shopping Madness Courtesy of Toys 'R Us
By: Jennifer Graber
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The holiday season this year seems to be all wrapped up in a tight package. Thanksgiving came late. And the sound of jingle bells is deafening with Christmas literally just around the corner. All this condensed holiday "goodness" is seemingly compounding the pressure. What pressure would that be? No, it is not the pressure to cope with all of the family visits and quirks during this season. Rather, it is the pressure of shopping for that perfect gift in a specific, i.e. short, amount of time. Unless you started shopping in July, and there are some of you out there, the Christmas shopping season was shortened this year. Therefore, both planners and procrastinators alike are finding themselves in a shopping dilemma with not enough hours in the day.
Well, fearless shoppers, you can keep on keeping on because Toys 'R Us is offering a solution. Those in search of the absolute perfect toy or game for the young ones, or young at heart, in their lives will be able to shop for 87 hours straight. That’s right, 87 hours of uninterrupted, money saving, deal grabbing, shopping madness will be going on at Toys 'R Us. Toys 'R Us will be open for business at 6:00am on Saturday, December 21 but will not close like normal that evening. In fact, the retail stores will remain open until 9:00pm on December 24 (Christmas Eve).

Consumers will also be able to select items online at the toy giant’s website and pick the items up within an hour at a brick-and-mortar store. As if that didn’t create a boggled thought process, imagine this — a Toys 'R Us store being open for more than 500 hours straight. A popular brick-and-mortar location in Times Square opened at 8:00am on December 1 and will remain open until 10:00pm on December 24. That is 566 consecutive hours of the retail store being open. So, if you wake up in the middle of the night and realize little Suzy or Tommy has to have the latest Legos or art set, don’t worry. Just head down to your local Toys 'R Us at 3:00am and rub elbows with all the other night owls.
But what does this brand’s tactic mean? Toys 'R Us certainly isn’t the only brand offering wild shopping hours. However, doesn’t it seem like these are Black Friday moves taken to a whole different level? Brands have to make money to pay employees and turn a profit; more than understandable. But does this overload the employees and consumers? Will consumers run themselves ragged trying to shop and ultimately miss out on the joy of Christmas? What about the pure and simple logistics of being open for 87 straight hours (i.e. scheduling, costs, employee enthusiasm, and so forth)?
On the flip side, will the extended times actually add hours to someone’s day? And, perhaps, will shoppers even be able to peruse the aisles at midnight, bypassing the hullabaloo of daytime madness? It sort of seems as if we might be on the path to overloading and overdoing it. There is nothing wrong, at all, with shopping or buying gifts or anything of that nature. However, the madness that will ensue from being open 87 hours, uninterrupted, is a bit mind boggling. This honestly seems like it could go either way — that it is walking a delicate line in the retail and branding world. Don’t be surprised, though, if you encounter more than one cantankerous employee or shopper during the craziness!


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About the Author
Jennifer Graber is a Business Development Manager and marketing enthusiast. Her specific interests include branding, consumer behavior, development, integrated marketing communications, and new & social media.
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