Toys R Us Announces 87-Hour Christmas Marathon, Posts Third-Quarter Loss

Toys R Us is making it a little easier for last-minute shoppers to get those gifts under the tree in time for Christmas Day. The retailer has announced that its stores nationwide will remain open for 87 consecutive hours starting 6 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 21 through 9 p.m. Christmas Eve.

Following Kohl's (NYSE: KSS) decision to stay open for more than 100 consecutive hours, the move comes as no surprise in a competitive environment that seems to have had retailers competing for the longest streak of shopping hours since Thanksgiving.

"With only eight shopping days remaining until Christmas, we are offering customers extended, uninterrupted time in stores, providing them the opportunity to shop whenever is most convenient for them – whether early in the morning or late at night," Troy Rice, the company's executive vice president, said in a statement.

This is not the first time that Toys R Us has welcomed procrastinating Christmas shoppers. Last year, the company offered nearly the same opening hours. To up the ante this year, however, the store is offering additional discounts during the final days before Christmas and daily deliveries to keep fresh inventory on the shelves all the way up to the holiday.

The marathon shopping announcement comes just as the retailer revealed that for the third-quarter, the company's losses widened, hurt by weaker sales in the U.S. and a big increase in income tax expense. 

Net loss for the three months ended Nov. 2 totaled $605 million, from $105 million last year. Income tax expense rose by $379 million related to a change in valuation allowance for some assets.

Net sales for Toys R Us slid 4.5 percent to $2.49 billion from $2.61 billion, while gross margin narrowed to 36 percent from 37 percent. Same-store sales slid 5.2 percent in the U.S. and declined 3 percent internationally from the same year-ago period. 

"Now, in the heart of the Christmas selling season, the team is fully focused on executing our holiday strategy and leveraging our strong in-stock position on the season's hottest toys," said CEO Antonio Urcelay in the earnings statement.

For more see:
-This NBC News article
-This Toys R Us earnings statement

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