EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

December 27, 2013

Shoppers flock to stores returning gifts

The day after Christmas has turned into a bit of a tradition for Lawrence resident Lynne Bernard.

“It seems me and my daughter go to the mall on this day every year,” said Bernard, who was shopping at the Mall of Rockingham Park in Salem.

It doesn’t have a catchy name like Black Friday or Cyber Monday, but yesterday was still a busy day at stores throughout the Merrimack Valley. Whether it was returning their Christmas gifts, or using their new gift cards, stores were prepared for an influx of shoppers.

“We consider the Christmas season to last right until the New Year,” said Ryan Kearney, General Counsel for the Retailers Association of Massachusetts. “When people come in returning gifts, there are incidental sales as a result.”

Stores adjusted their hours in preparation for the rush. Kohl’s in North Andover, Plaistow and Salem opened their doors at 5 a.m. The Mall of Rockingham Park was open two hours earlier than normal.

At Best Buy in Salem, they opened yesterday at 7 a.m., three hours earlier than normal. But foot traffic was light yesterday morning.

“We started off slow,” said David St. Cyr, general manager at the Salem Best Buy. “As expected, our return and exchange line started to pick up as the day progresses. We also see a lot of gift card use today as well.”

Gift card usage was also popular at Target, where spokesman Luis Guitart said yesterday was the most popular day of the year to redeem gift cards.

“The day after Christmas is a busy shopping day for Target, and we know many guests are looking for discounted holiday décor, want to redeem gift cards and are self-gifting,” Guitart said.

Kearney said deals can still be had after the holiday.

“There’s always inventory that didn’t sell,” he said. “The savvy shopper can get a deal on that after the holidays.”

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