Stores extend hours to help holiday shoppers in the week before Christmas

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SUNSET HILLS, MO (KTVI)-The crunch is on…the time crunch that is.  It's the last Sunday before Christmas and stores will be packed in what could be the busiest shopping weekend of the year.

The doors opened at 6:00am at Toys R Us in Sunset Hills, MO, a definite hot spot for shoppers looking at just five more shopping days until Christmas.   And these early hours are part of what experts are describing as a very customer friendly holiday season.

The National Retail Federation says sales have been strong this holiday season, up three percent from this time last year.   But they also point out that there is more merchandise on the shelves, leading to prices being cut in many places as we head down the holiday stretch.

And there is plenty of opportunity to shop. Toys R Us stores will be open from 6 am until 2 in the morning, closed for just four hours.  And by Wednesday, they'll begin a 39 hour stretch where they don't close.  Kohl's stores, meanwhile, have been open 24 hours since last Thursday and will remain open until Christmas Eve.  Malls across the area are also running on extra time, staying open until 10:00pm with anchor department stores in many cases staying open until 11:00pm.

Believe it or not, experts say most people are only a little more than half done with their holiday shopping by this point in the season. But for the next five days, there won't be a moment where you can't get at least a little bit done.