Christmas is over, but the shopping continues - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Christmas is over, but the shopping continues

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

A lot of south Georgians headed to the stores Wednesday to return Christmas presents or to look for after Christmas bargains.

But some retailers in Albany tell us traffic seems to be slower than in years past.

Shoppers who were there for many different reasons. But one thing everyone could agree on is that this year there were far less people compared to previous years. When it comes to shopping the day after Christmas, opinions vary.

"I actually hate coming to the mall the day after Christmas because it's always so busy," said Jasmine Williams.

"I always come the day after Christmas. It's a family tradition," said Montrell Seay.

Many shoppers come in to return those Christmas gifts that didn't fit quite right. Others are taking advantage of the big sales. "I find great bargains, anywhere from 50 to 75 percent off the original cost," Celia Grier said.

And some are already stocking up for NEXT Christmas. "I know that generally guys don't do that, but I'm one of those guys that likes to save a lot of money. It's a recession so why not get 75% off," said Montrell Seay.

But for Michael Richard, he's just starting his Christmas shopping. "I'm doing some more Christmas shopping, really starting my Christmas shopping." He admits he gets a little nervous that he won't be able to find the perfect gift for that special someone, but says the deals are worth it when he waits until the last minute. "A whole lot of money I'm saving, versus doing it before the Christmas holidays."

The day after Christmas usually means big business for retailers. But this year, shoppers and employees at the Albany mall say it's slower than normal. "It's definitely not as crowded as it has been in the past," said Grier. 'I mean usually you have lots more folks in the stores after Christmas. And I think people are just scaling back and not spending as much."

"I think last year we were a little bit busier than we are today. Because when I drove up I was expecting the parking lot to be full and there was just a few cars," said Belk Associate Emma Moser.

"We generally haven't had too much of a problem with the large crowds and a lot of people. Which, we're kind of surprised because it's the day after Christmas," said shopper Kyle Gay.  

The smaller crowds make the day after shopping experience a little more enjoyable for spenders, but retailers are hoping it's not a sign of the year to come.

Belk is staying open until 10pm Wednesday night. But after Tuesday, it's back to normal store hours.

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