Local stores were packed with shoppers Thursday for the post-Christmas rush. Even after Christmas there were plenty of shoppers in the mall. Unlike two days before, they were shopping for themselves and they didn't plan on spending a lot of money.
"Originally I got a present that was too big had to take it back for a smaller size," said one shopper.
People walked into the mall with just as many bags as they left with.
"We love going back and returning and then getting things on clearance, love it," said another shopper.
Jenifer De Castro was no exception.
"We're returning Christmas gifts that don't fit," said De Castro.
But there's another major force drawing people into the mall.
"Find some of the sales and spend a little Christmas money and gift card money," said one shopper.
Many stores offer major clearance deals because they know this is a time when shoppers will come in to redeem those gift cards.
"Most of the time my wife and daughters come out on their own and this time they said, ‘Dad why don't you come along with us,’” said one dad. "And I said ‘sure’ so I'm out here having some coffee looking for some sales as well."
Final sales of gift cards in 2013 are expected to surpass $118 billion. Eighty percent of shoppers stuffed them as gifts and a day later, receivers were cashing them in.
"I actually feel like I get more deals after Christmas than before and that's why it's great to have a December birthday. Day after Christmas I always get a lot for my money on my birthday," said one shopper.
But retailers have a strategy. They hope shoppers will make a few more purchases while using their gift cards. One positive thing shoppers said about using gift cards is that you don't have to worry about making returns.