Macy's plans to stay open for 48 hours straight

The retailer ups the ante in the holiday shopping wars. But will increased hours mean more sales or costs?

By Jonathan Berr Dec 6, 2012 11:52AM

Image: Couple Out Shopping, Fuse, Getty ImageMacy's (Mannounced Thursday that it will keep its 800 stores in 45 states open from 7 a.m. Dec. 21 to 7 a.m. Dec. 23. This is the latest salvo in the ever-escalating war retailers are waging to win the hearts, minds and hopefully the wallets of holiday shoppers.  

The extended hours don't stop there. Most Macy's stores will remain open until midnight on the 23rd for procrastinators who need to complete their shopping. Some stores will remain open until 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

Obviously, this is good news for shoppers. Whether it will bring holiday cheer to investors is another story.  Experts contend that gimmicks, such as extending Black Friday, cause people to make purchases earlier than they would have otherwise and do not do much to spur additional sales. Competition among retailers seems especially intense this year. The National Retail Federation is expecting holiday spending to rise 4.2%, less than last year's 5.6%, but above average nonetheless.

Expectations for Macy's are already running high and the stock has gained more than 21% this year. Revenue in the current quarter is expected to rise 7.2% to $9.35 billion. Earnings per share is forecast to increase to $1.98. Hitting these figures may not be easy.

For one thing, keeping stores open for 48 hours straight isn't going to be cheap. The company has a workforce of about 117,000, many of whom are hourly employees. That means that they would presumably have to be paid overtime for working an overnight shift. Of course, there are other costs to consider, such as heat and electricity. There may be insurance issues to consider as well.

Macy's will also have to offer some pretty sweet deals to convince shoppers, who are increasingly accustomed to shopping online in their pajamas, to leave their warm and cozy homes on dark, cold winter nights. Maybe the company should provide free coffee and donuts to these hearty souls. Even then, it may not be worth the schlep for many people.  


The company seems up to the task and is offering a "short list" of gifts under $100, $50 and $25 in the weeks heading up to Christmas. Bloomberg News noted after the company's latest earnings release that it "signaled it may use heavy discounts to draw holiday shoppers."

Even before the ink started to dry on Macy's press release, its competitors were probably already starting to plan how to match or perhaps surpass the chain's latest gimmick. When you add up all the extended hours, it looks like 2013 is shaping up to be the longest holiday shopping season in history.

--Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed stocks. 


Dec 6, 2012 2:48PM
Let me know when they will be doing it. I'll wait until the 47th hour to shop. Maybe the sleepless clerks will bag my purchase without ringing it up. You for for a fact that the whole main office will be out in the stores doing what they do best-- pushing paper while trying to look busy. History shows that the best way to increase sales is to cater to people who have jobs. Fewer do today than ever before. All your items are made overseas- where the jobs went to. So my best advice... pack up and move your stores to Asia or start helping those fighting to recover jobs in America.

With every advance Republicans make to turn America into a New World Order, stores like Macy's are that much closer to going out of business.
Dec 6, 2012 4:39PM
Maybe they'll start paying their employees more than minimum wage.  I would like to see some Costco influence here since Costco pays their employees a living wage.
Dec 6, 2012 6:02PM
Oh thank goodness.  I know its not really the 'holidays' until a bunch of poor wimps,
already underpaid and over-worked, are forced to retail all night long, and probably
for straight wages, overtime.

Its finally come down to having to rename the season....

SHOPSGIVING &  RETAILMASS.  Thanks Uber corps.

Note to employees: NOW IS THE TIME TO FORM A UNION
and STRIKE...They cannot fire all of you, and many would get
raises and overtime compensation.   JUST SAY NO TO SLAVERY!

Dec 6, 2012 4:37PM
Just reporting in that I received a bag full of Macy's advertisements. Read the sentence again, oh you marketing geniuses... dun us with too many ads and we figure out pretty quickly where those costs will end up. Maybe if you kept the seasoned middle management and let the college kids start at clerk, your marketing plan wouldn't make you look so desperate.
Dec 6, 2012 5:16PM
as long as they are associated with Trump they will not get 1 penny from me. I cut up my macy's card and sent it to them with a nice note.
Dec 6, 2012 5:20PM
another greedy corporation maximizing their profits, but at what expense? Sweat shops in china. Not to mention dealing with trump the buffoon! Losers.
Dec 6, 2012 5:14PM
Whatever!  just quit jacking up the prices and then sending all those coupons to bring them down to what they should be.  I am tired of going shopping and picking out something and having the sales associate tell me the coupon is not good until tomorrow.  WTF?  Can't they just put true prices on their mdse instead of have a one dale sale every other day?  They are not fooling anybody.  It makes me want to shop at a different store.
Dec 6, 2012 3:01PM

If the Macy's at the South Shore Plaze in Braintree does this, they better make sure the employees and customers dress for a heat wave.  After the mall closes the doors, the air gets shut off and it gets extremely hot in the stores.


Dec 6, 2012 6:34PM
Holy complaints!!! If you don't like Macy's don't shop there. End of story.
Dec 6, 2012 5:56PM
"— Police used chemical spray Thursday to subdue protesters trying to rush the Michigan Senate chamber after Gov. Rick Snyder and other Republican leaders announced they would press for quick approval of right-to-work legislation limiting union powers.

Eight people were arrested for resisting and obstructing when they tried to push past two troopers guarding the Senate door, state police Inspector Gene Adamczyk said. The Capitol was temporarily closed because of safety concerns.

So-called right-to-work measures generally prohibit requiring unions from collecting fees from nonunion employees, which opponents say drains unions of money and weakens their ability to bargain for good wages and benefits. Supporters insist it would boost the economy and job creation."

Retailers like Macy's should be particularly opposed to the sly legislative terrorism afoot here in Michigan. First, the union dues and membership become voluntary. Then, as the ranks dwindle the swindlers on top making 500 TIMES current union pay... then mandate a dollar an hour wage or the door. WHO do you go to when the union is gone? People who make a dollar an hour are unable to buy what they make much less shop at a Macy's. Wake up, America... you opposed a loser like Romney in the White House but it was only ONE of the many many conspiracies of a False Elitist Class attempting the take-over of America by a New World Order. We don't want or need a New World Order, we want a level playing field! These losers didn't start anything from scratch- including Snyder, former CEO of Gateway. He used a village to build a brand then fired 30,000 and sold the brand to an Asian business. They got SQUAT. He got a LOT. We want and need Republicans fleeing America for sanctuary someplace else. Know why? Because there is NO PLACE that wants a New World Order. Time for change... change out who gets rowed and who better pick up a oar and join the rest of us in recovery.

Dec 6, 2012 7:06PM
Paid overtime yeh right, not a chance. They'll have someone come in to work 11-7 to watch 2 depts by themselves.
Dec 6, 2012 8:19PM

The margins must be ultra thin on some of these items when all costs are calculated.  Almost sounds like a "Pump and Dump" Strategy to move last years inventory prior to arrival of the 2013 product line.  The Economy is still unsteady and most consumers are on tight/limited budgets.

Dec 7, 2012 1:21PM
Stupid idea Macy's. Very stupid like Trump.

When will ALL of the middle class shoppers wake up to the fact that this is part of the New World Order movement to enslave workers so the people at the top reap mega benefits and profits at the expense of all of the little people?

Wake up little people. If you're a middle class person with a job, this indirectly hurts you. It means you are all willing to accept working all hours through the night. Speak with your wallet. Don't feed the monsters.

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