December 26, 2005
Retailers are counting shoppers with hopes of finishing the holiday season with high sales as the rush to return those gifts gets underway.
As always the day after Christmas is proving to be a busy in shopping malls and many are coming for the same reason.
"The very good early morning sales," said shopper Deb Montagna.
Early they came.
"We opened at 7 o'clock this morning and we had folks at all the doors anxious to come in and do their exchanges and pick-up bargains like Christmas at 75 percent off," said Jack Dickerson, store manager for Belk.
Retailers are using discounts and extended hours to boost this year's sales, which haven't been particularly high overall.
"So far it's not as crowded as it usually is," said shopper Rita Bodkins.
Ssome stores saw the big push even more last-minute than usual.
"Last week was phenomenal. We exceeded plan for last week by 10 percent, we were very ecstatic," said Dickerson.
Not all the gifts are staying--some don't fit and others aren't quite right.
Bodkins said she is returning "clothes and an electric frying pan."
People aren't just returning and exchanging, they are alsotaking advantage of the sales and indulging themselves after the busy season.
"To shop for me because I've spent weeks shopping for everyone else," said Montagna.
Less people shop in the evening on December 26th, but by then the stores may be out of what you're looking for.
The week after Christmas often accounts for a significant percent of holiday sales for various businesses.