According to the National Retail Association (NRA), tens of thousands of shoppers are expected to head out to Westfield’s Chermside and Garden City stores tonight, which are both opening for a marathon 33.5 hour trading period.

National Retail Association CEO, Trevor Evans says the extended hours mean those who’ve been too busy, or those who’ve just procrastinated a little too long, needn’t worry.

“Christmas is a critical time of year for retailers, but it’s also an incredibly busy time of year for households, so opening additional hours just prior to Christmas allows more people to get their Christmas plans organised,” he says.

“Plus, there’s nothing worse than suddenly realising you’re out of time or have forgotten someone, so being able to make one last dash to the shops when they’d usually be closed gives consumers just that little bit more leeway before Christmas day.”

With just a day and half until Santa arrives, the deadline for online purchases has long since passed, so Westfield’s retail staff say they’re looking forward to a bit of instore ‘midnight madness’.

“Extra opening hours at this time of year are always a welcome boost for employees, particularly workers like uni students who like to pick up as many shifts as they can over the holiday period,” Trevor says.

“The younger staff members in particular have said they’re planning on having quite a bit of fun tonight, and will be making the most of having customers through the doors when the centres would usually be deserted.”

Westfield Chermside Centre Manager, Garth Haslam says Westfield Garden City and Westfield Chermside were the only shopping destinations in Queensland to offer ‘Non-Stop-Shop’ – the annual 33.5 hour shop-a-thon – just before Christmas.

“We look forward to welcoming tens of thousands of shoppers, taking advantage of longer hours to visit their favourite retailers at a time that suits them,” he says.

Westfield’s Chermside and Garden City stores will kick off their marathon trading hours events at 8:00 AM on December 23, and won’t close until 5.30 PM on Christmas Eve.