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Holiday shopping continues in stores, return season opens

Jennifer Sprouse • Dec 26, 2012 at 9:24 PM

While some people have had their fill of holiday shopping, others ventured outside Wednesday scouting for after Christmas sales, as well as those returning some of their gifts for exchange or refund.

The rainy conditions didn’t seem to slow down the shoppers heading into Target mid-afternoon, as customers tried to dodge raindrops while entering the store at 2116 North Roan St.

Target Sales Floor Executive Team Leader Scott Zani said Wednesday was operating as a normal shopping day for the store.

“Today is going great. Returns are not what we thought they would be,” Zani said. “It just seems kind of less than last year, so a lot more satisfied guests, I suppose.”

He said a lot of purchases at the store Wednesday included a lot of Christmas decorations and items on Christmas clearance, as customer returns varied.

“Just the usual toys, electronics,” Zani said. “Things that they didn’t want as gifts.”

He said gift cards sales were also pretty steady with a lot of those being redeemed at the store that afternoon.

Madelyn Youngman said Wednesday was a day of returning, as she and her mom, Shawn, made their rounds to Walmart, Radio Shack and then finally to Target, where she was returning a gift that didn’t fit.

“I’m returning pajama pants and (a) shirt,” Youngman said. “I’m going to get money (back) so I can go shopping.”

Patrick Mahoney, h.h. gregg general manager, said his store had not seen a lot of returns so far, but that they were having customers buy merchandise Wednesday.

“I think they’re planned purchases for the most part. It’s something that maybe they’ve wanted to buy and knew they were going to get a gift card or get cash for Christmas and that’s how they’re using it,” Mahoney said.

He said tablets were definitely among some of the high selling items at his store this shopping season.

“We’re sold out of a lot of them, but that’s what they’re wanting and TVs. Appliances is very busy also,” Mahoney said. “We’re always busy the end of December, the beginning of January.”

Morgan Hannah was purchasing some headphones at h.h. gregg, located at 3211 Peoples St., No.1, and said that she had some items that needed to be returned.

“Watches to a jewelry store, headphones and clothes,” Hannah said. “I got some money, so we’ll probably be buying some stuff, too.”

Hannah said this year she bought more presents instead of falling back on gift cards to give to family and friends.

“I know kids love them, but I bought a lot of presents trying to be a little bit more thoughtful and gift cards weren’t really on my list this year,” she said.

Nikki Henderson, assistant store manager of Old Navy at 3211 Peoples St., said the store opened at 5 a.m. and customers were there and ready to shop for after Christmas deals.

“Everybody was looking. We did have some people returning things,” she said. “We had a lot of sales that hour.”

Henderson said a lot of the merchandise in the store was on sale Wednesday.

“Christmas Eve we usually ... just overstock everything that we can possibly get ... out on the floor,” she said. “People are buying because we have big sales. We do have a lot of returns as well, but for the most part we are getting stuff out so we can get our spring stuff in.”

She said returns were coming in for many reasons, including items not being the right size, right color or that they just didn’t like what they received for Christmas.

Henderson said gift card sales were somewhat down this year and that people bought a lot of merchandise for Christmas gifts.

And the shopping didn’t seem to cease Wednesday at Old Navy, as customers were either lined up at the checkout counter to pay or were searching high and low for their next purchase around the store.

“It’s been a little crazy. We’re a lot busier than I thought we were going to be,” she said.

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