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Convenience stores cater to late shoppers

For serious holiday shopping procrastinators, drugstores and convenience stores are offering last-minute deals.
Image: The 12 Days of Convenience: 7-ElevenAE Prepared for Busiest Sales Day
7-Eleven stores are ready for last-minute shoppers with gifts that include wine, videos, snacks, a Verizon prepaid cell phone and stocking stuffers.AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

For serious holiday shopping procrastinators, drugstores and convenience stores are offering last-minute deals. Even better for the desperate, many of them will still be open at, say, 3 a.m. Dec. 25.

The last-minute rush tends to make these stores busier than they are the rest of the season.

"Like every Christmas season, our performance is driven by the final days, which makes this a big week," said Walgreen Co. CEO Greg Wasson on a conference call with investors Monday. "It could be a more important this year as more consumers delayed the holiday shopping to the last minute."

Most Walgreens locations will be open until midnight Christmas Eve. Nearly 1,600 24-hour locations will be open all night. On Christmas Day, non-24-hour locations will be open 9 a.m.- 6 p.m.

The drugstore has tech gifts like a Kodak Digital Camera for $69.99 and Disney products, remote-controlled toys and games. And batteries. Don't forget the batteries.

7-Eleven, open 24 hours, has items like prepaid cell phones, including a Verizon Smooth u350 phone for $19.99 that features a camera, Bluetooth and Verizon service, DVDs, wine, cookies and gift cards such as iTunes cards.

7-Eleven said that already gift-card sales are up in the high double-digits, the most popular being the 7-Eleven card, a prepaid Visa card and iTunes gift cards.

For fans of online role-playing games, 7-Eleven has also increased its selection of multiplayer online game gift cards, which let players buy play time or items in online games, including World of Warcraft and Mafia Wars.

At CVS, 1,250 stores will be open 24 hours and the rest will have extended hours, open until midnight on Christmas Eve. In addition more than 5,400 stores will be open Christmas Day.

CVS is offering electronics on sale, including a Prism 7-inch high-definition LCD TV for $79.99 and a Craig mp3 player for $29.99. The drugstore chain is also offering perfume from Mariah Carey, Halle Berry and others for $19.99 and spa sets starting at $14.99.

For those who don't want to brave the stores, there's still time to order gift cards online and send them electronically, though even those have a cutoff.

Victoria's Secret says you can order a gift certificate online by 3 p.m. on Christmas Day, and it will be delivered via e-mail that day. At, you can order and send its e-gift cards until 1 p.m. Dec. 24.