Day after Christmas sales satisfy shoppers and retailers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Day after Christmas sales satisfy shoppers and retailers

December 26, 2005

Albany-- The National Retail Federation predicted shoppers would spend nearly $440 billion dollars this holiday season. Now after Christmas, stores continue to lure customers in with promises of big sales and cheap prices. Monday's sales will just add to what South Georgia retailers already call a successful shopping season.

The day after Christmas, the sounds of holiday bargains still resonate throughout South Georgia stores. "Just trying to get all the bargains," says shopper Linda Fujii.

"Oh, these are the best bargains," says shopper Erica Bundrage.

Some stores opened extra early offering customers 50 percent off here and there and promotions many say are worth braving the crowds for. "You got the day after Thanksgiving and you got the day after Christmas and I've never missed either one all my life," says Bundrage.

For some it's a tradition that has retailers cashing in. "Just the economy in itself probably isn't where we hoped it would be based on the hurricanes that came through but we certainly are well within where we need to be," says Target Executive Team Leader Amy Clark.

"Our sales were pretty decent last year but probably a lot better this year. We've been busier this year," says Circuit City Sales Manager Matthew Barnes.

Along with merchandise, gift cards were also a popular choice this season. "Company-wide, we had 1 billion dollars worth of gift card sales," says Clark. But whether its a gift card or an actual gift, stores do their best to get customers inside to spend money before and after Christmas. "Everything looks like such great bargains, you have to stay here and keep looking for more," says shopper Pamela Palmer.

After Christmas is when shoppers say they see the lowest prices. "This couldn't have been at this price when I first came through here," says shopper Walter Toney. Many shoppers spent hundreds of dollars before the holiday.

"About $1,000 or more," says Melinda Purvis.

"$2,000," says Bundrage.

But some still can't resist some after holiday savings. It's proof that store's advertising dollars aren't going to waste. "We hope that generates the sales we need for people to come in and see us," says Clark. This leaves retailers rolling in lots of holiday revenue and shoppers like Janice Ford, "Ready for next year," says Ford.

Both sides of the cash register will now be counting the days until the whole process begins again.

This holiday shopping season was originally expected to be much slower this year but after gas prices dropped and big sales in October, sales predictions actually jumped more than last year.

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