Today is one of the busiest days of the year for retailers. Shoppers armed with gift cards and unwanted gifts will be hitting the stores.
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RALEIGH, N.C. — The next phase of the holiday shopping season kicks off today. People will be returning unwanted gifts and others will be looking for post-Christmas bargains.
The holiday rush is over, but the race to pad sales numbers is just getting started. All this week, retailers will try to reel in customers, baiting them with big sales.
In an industry survey last year, 82 percent of the people asked said they either gave or received a gift card. Nationwide, gift card sales will top $24 billion, which is $6 billion more than last year.
Shopper Janae Crews said she plans to take full advantage of her gift cards.
"Gift cards allow you to just spend your money in one spot. You don't have to use it for another purchase," she said.
Retailers cannot count the money spent on gift cards until they are actually cashed in for merchandise. Final sales numbers are expected to be released early next month.