ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Christmas 2016 is in the books, but shoppers aren't done hitting the stores quite yet.
The day after Christmas is one of the biggest shopping days of the year with many people looking to spend Christmas gift cards, return not-so-perfect gifts, and hunt for bargains.
A survey by the National Retail Federation found more than two-thirds of shoppers are planning to take advantage of after-Christmas sales, either online on in-store, and that means a busy day for retailers.
Albany Target assistant manager Andrew Petersen said the store will triple its staff for today to handle the big crowds on Monday, a day they're expecting to be busy, but not as busy as Black Friday.
"The day after Christmas is nowhere near as busy as Black Friday, I can assure you that," Petersen said. "It definitely is a little busy, (but) it is not as busy as the day before Christmas. They know they have a whole week, the kids are still out of school, so they don't rush in on one day, they space it out, they come in at different times."
Returns are also big the day after Christmas. Last year, the NRF calculated nearly $63 billion worth of merchandise was returned after the holidays.
Some stores have tweaked their return policy during the holidays to give consumers some extra time. For Target, the 90-day return window for gifts purchased after Nov. 1 begins on Dec. 26.
For shoppers planning to hit the return line, stores offer this advice:
- Bring the receipt or gift receipt. Some items go on sale after Christmas and without the receipt, some shoppers won't be able to receive the full amount. Some stores also have the ability to look up a purchase by swiping the bank card used to buy the item.
- Review the store's return policy beforehand. Some stores won't accept anything that's been opened, especially electronics.
- Be patient. Stores are expecting long lines at the return counter on Monday.
After a day of being closed for the Christmas holiday, some stores have opened early to give shoppers a head start. Target opened an hour early at 7 a.m., Walmart reopened at 6 a.m., and most stores in the Albany Mall will open at 8 a.m.