Some stores are open all night long for those last-minute shoppers and falling prices are everywhere, reports CBS News correspondent Hari Sreenivasan.
"They've now raised the bar to take 60 and 70 percent off before Christmas and not after Christmas," said retail analyst Dana Telsey.
Target stores just missed their mark. Same store sales in November were down 10 percent compared to a year ago.
"It just made us refocus, make sure we're giving the guests the 'pay less' as opposed to the 'expect more,'" said Ryan Andrews, a Target store team leader.
That means shoppers like Cindy Pinson save money. She's been cautious this year thanks to the economy.
"Think it through, not just buy this, that and the other like last year - [like a] Plasma TV," said Pinson. "This year it's not plasma TV."
While discount chains may have deals, style experts say the steals are in high-end stores.
"If you've ever wanted to have this fabulous Balenciaga dress - it's $3,500 regularly - you can get it right now at Barneys for say $800. So that's a classic piece," said fashion expert Mattie Roberts.
Retailers have to make room for new lines or lose money on the racks. Some stores say 6 million fewer people have gone to the stores compared to last year.
But through the economic struggles, at least Santa sees hope.
"I even have children say, 'Take one toy you would give to me and give it to a poor child,'" said one store's Kris Kringle.