Day-after-Christmas deals draw crowds

WILLOW GROVE, Pa. - December 26, 2011

The experts say the day after Christmas is becoming one of the busiest shopping days of the year with many stores having extended hours and offering after Christmas savings.

"This is definitely one of the craziest days we had this season," said Ashlyn Delson.

Once upon a time, December 26th was return day, when you exchanged that odd tie or sweater as fast as you could, and if you were thrifty pick up a 1/2 price box of wrapping paper.

But that's old thinking, according to Shoppertrak that measures retail foot traffic. The Day after Christmas could be the third busiest day of the shopping season behind Black Friday and December 17th, the Saturday that was prior to Christmas Eve.

"I was saying it's worse than Black Friday," said Eunice Bromberg. "Today is like crazy here."

Fueling this, in part, consumers are catching on that in a tight economy retailers want to dump their inventory fast before it loses more value. So bargain hunters wait.

"It's marked down plus another 50% off. You can't beat that," said Jackie Davis.

The other factor is the rise of gift cards, and the urge to turn them into things.

"Some rain boots, sweaters, jeans and a couple of shirts," said Roneisha Smith-Davis.

Jasmine Hough explains the lure of the cards for her. "You get gift cards and you think I want to shop," Jasmine said.

Hough's aunt who was weighed down by shopping bags, professed reluctance about this post Christmas endeavor.

"I just got dragged along and ended up buying stuff I didn't need," said Janette Fertig, who confessed to feeling a little like a hostage.

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