Waited until the last minute for your holiday shopping? Don’t fret – there are plenty of stores to choose from in Manatee and Sarasota counties to snag gifts.
In Bradenton, DeSoto Square mall, located at 303 301 Blvd. W., will be open from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Christmas Eve, according to general manager Don Burrow.
“Traffic’s been really good,” Burrow said of the mall’s activity this week. “We’ve been impressed.”
The Mall at University Town Center, 140 University Town Center Drive, Sarasota, will be open 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, according to the mall’s website.
Ellenton Premium Outlets, 5461 Factory Shops Blvd., Ellenton, will be open 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Christmas Eve.
“Every family has different traditions for the holidays, and we cater to these traditions by extending our hours to facilitate a convenient shopping experience for all of our visitors,” said Sarah Ozgun, director of marketing and business development at Ellenton Premium Outlets. “We welcome all of our shoppers and families who would like to take advantage of our extra festive hours to share a social experience or find some great deals at Ellenton Premium Outlets.”
It’s been busy, but nothing that’s uncontrollable.
Sandi Parker, customer service representative at Bealls
Kohl’s, located at 5205 University Parkway, is open around the clock until 6 p.m. Christmas Eve.
Bealls, located at 6355 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton, will be open from 7 a.m.-11 p.m. on Friday and from 6 a.m.-7 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
“It’s been busy, but nothing that’s uncontrollable,” said Sandi Parker, a Bealls customer service representative.
Victoria Scipione, a spokesperson for Toys R Us, said stores will be open nationwide from 6 a.m. Friday until 9 p.m. Christmas Eve.
“So that’s 39 straight hours of shopping,” she said. “Customers really do react well to the 24 hours. I think we will have people in the stores leading right up until Christmas. It does provide a last few minutes to grab a few additional gifts.”
Target (6150 14th St. W., Bradenton) is open 7 a.m.-midnight on Friday and from 7 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday.
Best Buy (4210 14th St. W., Bradenton) is open 8 a.m.-11 p.m. on Friday and 7 a.m.-6 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
While several stores will have extended hours on Christmas Eve, Walmart made headlines for its decision to cut shopping hours short and close early at 6 p.m. instead of 8 p.m., as in years past.
“Our associates work hard all year to make this holiday season special for our customers, and we truly appreciate what they do every day,” said Judith McKenna, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Walmart. “We also know that getting home on Christmas Eve to spend time with families is important. That’s why this year we’ll be closing at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve.”