TODAY

TODAY   |  December 24, 2013

Holiday shopping sales down this year

Retailers are going all out to accommodate last-minute shoppers, as new reports show holiday sales are down three percent from last year. NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez reports.

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>> them until after christmas. that's my excuse.

>> you have to get in on the deals then.

>> whatever you need to tell yourself. retailers are hoping stores will be packed to make up for what's been a disappointing end to the holiday season . gabe gutierrez is braving the crowds for us this morning in georgia. good morning.

>> reporter: good morning. no crowds so far but retailers like this toys "r" us are offering extended hours today. and this store will be open for about 87 consecutive hours by tonight. this as the retail industry tries to make up for a dismal week. the holiday hustle is in full swing . procrastinators searching for that perfect gift, or at least one that's good enough.

>> it's christmas shopping . i'm a guy. come on now.

>> reporter: but this christmas eve , the news is disappointing for retailers. shopper track reports holiday sales at stores are running 3% lower than last year and foot traffic plunged 21%. nasty weather could have been a factor. meanwhile, in the aftermath of one of the largest retail security breaches in u.s. history , target is in full damage control after up to 40 million customer cards were compromised. but even 10% discounts and free credit monitoring are proving to be a tough sell.

>> a 10% discount as opposed to identity theft and all the problems involved with that, isn't worth it to me.

>> reporter: jp morgan chase is easing restrictions on shoppers that used their chase card at target from $100 withdrawal and $300 purchase limit to $250 with draw and $1,000 purchases. the retail giant is now the target of more than a dozen class action lawsuits. target says it's cooperating fully with the u.s. department of justice and several state attorneys general who are investigating the breach. the company is adding more staff to work the phone lines and says executives are working around the clock.

>> target has this horrible problem. it's kind of changing the wheels on landing gear of an airplane while the plane is flying.

>> reporter: now the retailers hope they won't feel that turbulence at this toys "r" us. they hope the traffic picks up in a little bit. they plan to be open until 9:00 tonight. other stores like macy's and kohls will be open 100 straight hours by tonight. even though i'm working i have no excuse not to finish my christmas shopping today.

>> you might want to turn around and do it now. beat the crowd.

>> reporter: i should go right now.

>> we just have a few items, gabe.

>> send them express.