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Forman Mills' CEO has Mummers on his mind

The local discount chain intends to donate a percentage of one day's sales at the Aramingo Avenue store to the Mummers to help defray cost of their New Year's Day parade.

When retailers can count the hours 'til the end of the Christmas shopping season, you know it's crunch time.

Some stores offer deep discounts or other promotions to lure procrastinators. Other extend their hours, hoping to unload that snowman tie or "World's Greatest Mom" apron.

Who hasn't scoured a 24-hour pharmacy on Christmas Eve for something (anything!) to avoid putting leftover Halloween candy in your kids' stockings?

Discount clothing chain Forman Mills Inc. will keep one of its stores open 36 hours in a row. The store at 3500 Aramingo Ave. will open at 8 a.m. Tuesday and close at 8 p.m. Christmas Eve.

Marketing director Christopher Streahle said the chain's done it before; most recently to meet fan demand for stuff commemorating the Phillies' making and then winning the World Series.

This time, Forman Mills hopes to aid not only the last-minute holiday shopper, but also the Mummers who are trying to raise funds at the 11th hour for their New Year's Day parade.

Since the city has reduced financial support for the parade this year, the Philadelphia Mummers Association been trying to strum up support to cover a $400,000 shortfall.

Forman Mills intends to donate a percentage of sales from its Aramingo store on Tuesday to the Mummers, and CEO Rick Forman will match that amount, Streahle said. (He would not disclose the exact percentage that would be donated.)

About two dozen Mummers are expected to perform at the Aramingo store, starting at 11 p.m. Tuesday and offering shoppers a break from hearing "Jingle Bell Rock" for the 2,000th time since Thanksgiving.


"You'd have to be a moron not to ask for a discount."

- Stephen J. Hoch, Wharton School marketing professor, to the Associated Press about retailers' willingness to negotiate prices in a weak holiday shopping season.