PARK SLOPE - Merchants in Park Slope are combating the economic downturn by inviting consumers to late-night shop-a-thons filled with deep discounts, giveaways and entertainment.

The special promotions on Seventh Avenue are scheduled to take place the first two Thursdays in December. Merchants say a similar effort last year was a success.

?Businesses I spoke with were pushing people out the door at 10:30 p.m.,? says Catherine Bohne, vice president of the Park Slope Chamber of Commerce.

However, some question whether shoppers will be willing to buy gifts at local shops instead of the more economical big-box stores while money is tight.