Stores expect big crowds for after-Christmas deals

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – If Christmas is about giving, then the day after is all about shopping and returning.

The research firm ShopperTrak says the day after Christmas is typically the second-highest revenue day for retailers, with as much as $8 billion being spent on that day alone. Because Christmas fell on Sunday this year, most workers had Monday off, with nothing to do but shop.

"Our goal is, if it's not on sale or a bargain, we're not getting it," Ronda Roberts said, who enjoyed an extra day of shopping with her two granddaughters, Riley and Addison.

More than 75 shoppers formed a line outside Target Monday morning. Many came to redeem gift cards, while others sought out holiday decorations. The store slashed prices in half, promising savings too good to ignore.

"Anywhere you can save half or just 20 percent off is a great deal," Elizabeth Casey of Jonesboro said, "especially when you have people that you have certain things that they want, and you have them on the list."

People are also returning presents more than ever. The National Retail Federation, or NRF, estimates nearly 40 percent will return holidays gifts this year, which is expected to top $46 billion.

"We got doubles of a few Christmas presents, exchanging it for some other things," Ashley Ortgiesen of Pocahontas said.

The day after Christmas deals brought large crowds to local stores, and the shopping bonanza makes December 26 the third-busiest shopping day of the year.

"It was like completely empty when we got here, and now it's like shoulder-to-shoulder," Addison Roberts said about the crowds. "Yeah, the lines are five-minute wait in line, especially at Best Buy, Aeropostle, places like that," her grandmother Ronda said.

The NRF says stores are expected to ring up more than $469 billion during the holiday season. Retail experts call it an encouraging sign for the economy, as the NRF has upgraded its sales growth forecast a full percentage point to 3.8 percent.

"I actually got all my things on the list, plus some more," Candace Kidd of Paragould said.

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