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Shoppers Return Bearing Gifts

December 26, 2013, 4:55 PM by Perry Groten

Shoppers Return Bearing Gifts

Spending Christmas with the family was just the breather many people needed before bolting straight for the stores again on Thursday.

No sooner did the wrapping come off the Christmas presents than shoppers began plotting out their strategy to take advantage of deep discounts at the stores.  Many stores have slashed prices by more than half to get their holiday merchandise out the door.

The holiday glow still shines brightly in the shopping aisles the day after Christmas.

"LED blue Christmas lights," shopper Rebekka Gallagher said.

All is calm when shopping for Christmas lights at the Lewis at 41st Street and Minnesota Avenue.

"It is a little less chaotic.  There's a little less shoppers and it's a little less stressful.  And the sales are wonderful.  At the end of Halloween, there's always Halloween deals.  At the end of Christmas, there's always Christmas sales so it's the best time to get everything you need for next year," Gallagher said.

Return lines don't stretch as far back as other years because cell phones are helping shoppers avoid getting stuck with gifts they don't want.

"There's a lot more social media.  A lot more people are getting more accurate Christmas gifts; pictures of what they're actually looking for instead of descriptions.  You see a lot more people shopping with their phones," Store Manager Bob Deaton said.

But despite more tech-savvy shoppers, the ritual of returning gifts remains a post-Christmas tradition. 

"Because I bought the same gift last year and I need to change it for a different one.  We haven't had Christmas yet, but we're going to finish it off this weekend," Deb Bontje of Beresford said.

Because many families these days celebrate multiple Christmases, the traditional 12 Days of Christmas extend well into next year.

"At least the first week of January, we're still trying to keep moving that seasonal merchandise and whatever's left there and then we'll get into Super Bowl party stuff and stock-up sales right after that," Deaton said.

In the world of retail, Christmas doesn't come just once a year; it's every day, while supplies last.

The Lewis at 41st & Minnesota says Christmas sales are running ahead of last year.  After-Christmas sales also get a boost when the weather warms up.

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