Macy’s Inc., anticipating a huge last-minute demand for Christmas gifts, has decided to keep practically its entire fleet of 800 stores open round the clock on the last weekend before Christmas.

This story first appeared in the December 6, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The Macy’s marathon will begin at 7 a.m. on Dec. 21 and run through midnight of Dec. 23 at the vast majority of its stores, which will reopen at 7 a.m. on Dec. 24, Christmas Eve.

However, 34 stores will stay open until 2 a.m. on Dec. 24, and reopen at 7 a.m. In addition, 23 stores will never close until 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve, when the entire fleet will shut down for the holiday.

Macy’s began the tradition of keeping its doors open 24 hours with Macy’s Queens Center in 2006. The company added additional stores in subsequent years, and last year offered customers the opportunity to shop outside regular store hours in 14 locations that were open 24 hours and in 27 locations that offered extended hours.

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Macy’s also said it will have a big one-day sale concluding on Dec. 23 at 7 a.m., and separately beginning Dec. 13, will offer an expanded array of gifts organized to make shopping easier at less than $100, less than $50 and less than $25.

“For the first time ever, Macy’s will keep most stores open around the clock for the last weekend of holiday shopping, an expansion of our successful marathon that began at select stores in 2006,” said Peter Sachse, Macy’s chief stores officer. “We hope to make it easy for our customers across the country to finish their shopping at any time of day or night and with the benefit of the great deals and value they count on from our one-day sale events.”

Among the gifts priced for less than $100, a North Face men’s RDT 300 jacket with “Flashdry” technology, the Keurig Mini Plus one-cup coffee maker and an Anne Klein watch. Items priced for less than $50 include a Marc Jacobs three-piece Rollerball fragrance set and American Rag slippers. At $25 or less, Impulse cosmetic palettes, Oscar de la Renta sweaters and Polaroid headphones are among the offerings.

On Black Friday, Macy’s chairman, president and chief executive officer Terry J. Lundgren told WWD that he expected a slowdown in the first couple of weeks of December, followed by strong business the last 10 days before Christmas as well as the week after Christmas. “The business will definitely come late,” Lundgren said.

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