Long lines greet post-Christmas deal seekers

Posted December 26, 2008
Updated March 9, 2009

— The parking lot was crowded at Triangle Town Center Friday as shoppers tried to return unwanted gifts and take advantage of drastic price cuts.

Those who turned out early Friday were looking to spend and save. "We're just trying to get some bargains and take advantage of all the sales post-Christmas," shopper Stephen Furs said.

Pointing to her bags, Nellie Basnet said, "I got some bargains in there."

Bargain hunters crowd malls for after-Christmas sales Bargain hunters crowd malls for after-Christmas sales

Those who found deals paid for them with lots of time in long lines.

Kelly Wilson and her friends found their 20-minute wait worth the savings. "On Christmas Eve, the shirt was originally $14.99. My mom almost got it for $11.99. Today she got it for $3.84," she shared.

Hudson Belk opened its doors before dawn in hopes of making up for what has been a dismal holiday shopping season. Cashiers worked non-stop to serve the bargain seekers.

"It's crowded and crazy," Christina Curan said.

She and her family came out to return a few Christmas gifts, but spent more time in the mall than they had hoped.

"The lines were pretty long, but I liked the sales," Kayluh Freeman said.

Retailers, who have been cutting prices all season, offered more deals after Christmas to get rid of old merchandise and boost their less-than-cheery holiday sales.

The holiday season – which typically accounts for 30 percent to 50 percent of a retailer's annual total sales – has been less than jolly for most retailers. Job cuts, portfolio losses and other economic woes have convinced consumers to cut back on their spending.

A report issued by SpendingPulse, a service that measures retail data for MasterCard, indicated that sales are down by 8 percent from last December. Without a significant post-Christmas boost, this could be the worst year for stores since 1969.

Discount seekers and those returning gifts were joined Friday by shoppers looking to spend their holiday gift cards.

"We don't need anything, but we are going to get something," Mallori Branch said. "Just the type of shoppers retailers like, right?"


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • grayboomerang Dec 26, 2008

    By the looks of the Crabtree Valley Mall traffic, I'd say people are spending.

  • TeresaBee Dec 26, 2008

    Now why can't my utility companies slash prices.

  • TheAdmiral Dec 26, 2008

    "It's amazing to me to watch the endless stream of reports on how retailers are faring at Christmas time."

    They do this for two reasons. The first, if the retailers have a bad Christmas season, most of the ones who were hurting will be gone, in bankruptcy, or will be announcing store closings before February. The Christmas season is their bread and butter, because during the regular season, they are always operating in the negative territory.

    Second, it also defines if we are in a recession or a depression. If the reatailers discount over 50% before Christmas, and upwards to 80% the day before and 50-70% after in order to sell the items, it shows that the product value irregardless of cost is at that level.

    I have somewhet of a simple philosophy. If someone discounts something 80% to get people to purchase it - how much was it worth?

    And those buy one get one free cars?

  • charlesboyer Dec 26, 2008

    It's amazing to me to watch the endless stream of reports on how retailers are faring at Christmas time. It is almost like it is a game to see if this season is the "best of all" because we collectively spent the most money in that particular year.

    This year, people spent less because there's a recession on with higher unemployment, or folks are worried about their jobs. For example, a rumor of a huge post-new-year's layoff at IBM has a lot of folks out there watching their purchases very carefully.

    Add to it the fact that many people have reached the end of their limits with credit cards, and with home values dropping, the good ole home equity loan to get a credit card reset is not as readily available.

    Us, we buy what we can afford and try to not go overboard with it. That way we won't dread the Visa statement's arrival in the mail in January.

  • chris250480 Dec 26, 2008

    I've been finding really good after christmas sales at this web site:

    It's a free service that tracks prices of products from online stores (like amazon) and sends you an email when the price drops.

  • tsquaring Dec 26, 2008

    sgebeaux, I agree. It will get a lot of crazy people in the door going nuts over a sale before it ends at 1pm. Not the kind of crowd I'd like to be around. Bet many of those limited time sales get extended through next year! You have to love human nature...

  • endless Dec 26, 2008

    It is a psychological thing - you always want to make things seem like they are special or limited - otherwise it is everyday. "For a limited time" If you put something on sale buy one get one free at HT - you will seel more if you limit the number of items you can get free. Psychological sales.

  • jockeyshiftspringer Dec 26, 2008

    "J.C. Penney Co. Inc. opened at 5:30 a.m. - ... and offered customers more than 100 "doorbusters" until 1 p.m,..."

    Well, they must not be hurting too bad to set an ending time.