Americana, Galleria give last-minute shoppers extra hours

Shoppers were bustling in Glendale on the last full weekend before Christmas, but merchants continue to hold out for procrastinators, while savvy shoppers look for last-minute deals.

The Glendale Galleria and Americana at Brand were both busy, according to their representatives.

In an effort to draw even more customers, Macy’s will stay open until 2 a.m. this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, said Larry Martin, general manager at the Galleria.

“They’ve done that at very few stores throughout the nation,” he said.

The goal is to give shoppers more time and hopefully stroll through the store when it’s not so crowded, he added.

The mall will start closing around 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Martin said.

He added that the Galleria sees a marked increase in gift-card sales on Christmas Eve as shoppers either can’t find what they want or they go the easy route.

The Americana at Brand also saw heavy shopping volume this past weekend, said spokeswoman Jennifer Gordon.

About nine stores and kiosks will be open on Christmas Day, hoping to draw spill-over customers dining at one of two open sit-down restaurants or going to a movie at Pacific Theatres.

Some shoppers bought items this past weekend and continued making purchases this week.

Liz Martinez, 41, was among the weekend shoppers. But she was at the Americana at Brand on Monday, having just purchased three sweaters.

“Two of them are for me,” she said, laughing. “That’s my problem.”

Stores often entice shoppers with special promotions this week, Martinez added.

“There are some good deals out there,” she said.

Some shoppers, however, just wait until the last minute.

“I’m a procrastinator, so I wait until the very last second,” said Guy Blackwell, 36, shopping at the Americana. He said he can sometimes be found shopping on Christmas Eve.

At the Galleria, Sandra Rodriguez, 38, said she usually does a bulk of her holiday shopping the weekend before Christmas, but changed her plans this year.

“I’m off from work this week, so I decided to shop now,” she said, adding she hopes to take advantage of last-minute sales.

Steve Galish, 59, was coming out of the Apple store at the Galleria, where he was eyeing three iPads — two for his daughters and one for himself.

The rest of his holiday shopping will be easy.

“I have only one woman to buy for,” he said, holding up a gift he’d just purchased for his wife.

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