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Christmas shoppers flocking to stores for last-minute gifts

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas is just around the corner, and shoppers are flocking to stores to get their hands on last-minute presents.

According to ShopperTrak, Saturday is the biggest spending day of the year behind Black Friday.

So, if you go anywhere near a mall this weekend, don't forget your patience as many people are scrambling to find last-minute gifts.

Though the clock is ticking, stores are doing their part to put time on your side. Some retailers are staying open 24 hours through Christmas Eve, hoping to draw any sales they can.

With holiday sales slower than expected, retailers are working overtime to lure shoppers into stores extending hours and offering big discounts.

The Toys R Us in Burbank is staying open until 9 p.m. Christmas Eve. Many Kohl's stores are also staying open all day and all night until 6 p.m. Christmas Eve. Macy's is staying open till 2 a.m. until Christmas.

In Culver City, many stores in the Westfield Mall opened early and offered free gift wrapping.

One busy dad said he likes the extended holiday hours.

"With work, I think it's somewhat necessary, because I know that by the time I get off work, it's really hard to get out there and get things that you need, go shopping, and you're tired and that's when everyone else is doing it," said Kirk Leins of Burbank. "Get a little bit of sleep, wake up early, get there early, you know, get it done."

Retailers say they expect shoppers to be out late, some stores in the Westfield Mall will even be open until midnight.

Target is giving customers an added incentive. As a way to apologize for the recent massive security breach, the retailer is offering 10 percent off Saturday and Sunday as well as free credit card monitoring for potential victims.

Related: 'I shopped at Target. What should I do?'

Register after register filled with shoppers despite the retailer's massive security breach, but shoppers couldn't help being concerned as they headed to the store.

"I kind of hesitated going in, but I need Christmas shopping, and I've just been checking my bank statements to make sure nothing goes wrong," said Crystalin Rodriguez of Pasadena.

Shoppers have also expressed their frustration with Target's customer service on the retailer's Facebook page.

Target acknowledged on Thursday that data connected to about 40 million credit and debit accounts was stolen between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15. Officials say the problem was identified and eliminated.

"Once the information is stolen, they work with other cyber thieves to distribute the cards data into money," said Matt Ferrante, a former U.S. Secret Service agent.

The Secret Service is working alongside a private forensic team that's been hired by Target to figure out how such a widespread crime could have taken place.

The theft was the second largest credit card breach in U.S. history, exceeded only by a 2005 scam involving retailer TJX Cos, which runs stores like T.J. Maxx and Marshall's. That incident affected 45.7 million accounts.

Two lawsuits seeking class-action status have been filed against Target, and officials say more are expected.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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