Shoppers hit area malls and discount centers the day after Christmas.
December 26th has become one of the busier days for retailers. Merchants count on a last minute push for a profitable holiday season, while shoppers come looking for bargains at the "After Christmas Sales".
We found most shoppers are on a similar mission Thursday. They were looking for deals. Some were spending the cash they got for Christmas, while others set aside some money for post holiday bargain hunting.
Deep discounts fuel the post Christmas shopping frenzy. Shoppers on Christmas Eve face the pressure of finding the perfect gift at the last minute. The day after, that pressure is gone. It's all about the bargains.
"I love Edgewater Mall. Especially after Christmas with the 50 percent off sales," said Charlotte Odom.
She joined hundreds of other shoppers cruising the mall. December 26th shopping is a tradition.
"I'll probably shop until about five or six. I'm not finished yet. I saved some money to shop after Christmas, because the sales are really good," she said.
Marked down merchandise keeps the Christmas registers ringing. Despite gloomy news from the national naysayers, J.C. Penney in Biloxi had its best holiday in years.
"It's been extremely busy. And I just want to thank everybody in the community for supporting us so well this year. We're all very happy to be here," said store manager, Mike Statham.
Along with the mall, shoppers also invaded area Wal Marts. Holiday decorations attracted lots of attention.
We found Colleen Forehand and her family checking out the discounted gift wrap. She'd expected even bigger crowds.
"I don't usually come the day after Christmas. But I had to come to town for other reasons. And I was surprised. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be," she said.
While shoppers searched for the bargains, Gerald Burdine picked up a new watch band. His reason for shopping December 26th was a few feet away at the main register.
"My wife. She's after all those fifty percent off Christmas accessories," Burdine said.
Nationally, this is reported to be the weakest holiday season for retailers in some 30 years. But that's probably not the case locally.
J.C. Penney manager, Mike Statham, said Christmas sales this year are up significantly over last year.