Christmas clearance draws shoppers looking for a deal

By Elizabeth Vowell – email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - While Santa is resting after a busy weekend, retailers are gearing up for an even busier week of sales and returns.

"We opened up at 7 a.m. this morning and we close at ten.  We have door busters, great sales, coupons to draw the customers in," said Belk Department Manager Shelia Joseph.

Post Christmas sales have kicked off, and for many these days of shopping are almost as big as Black Friday.

"Always, after Christmas is the best time to shop for me," said shopper Kimberly Carswell.

"I'm shopping for late Christmas presents," said shopper Abbey Light.

"We were surprised to see all the cars because we had to return something at another store and the parking lot was full," said shopper Phyllis Beisecker.

At Edgewater Mall, the store employees said it's been a fantastic season for shopping, and they're not the only ones. Nationwide reports are coming in that this was the highest spike in holiday shopping in several years.

In fact, the National Retail Federation predicts that holiday spending will reach more than $400 billion this year.

"Christmas is going to be, for most retailers in the mall, it's going to make you or break you. It made us," said Joseph.

Stores like Belk have made extra preparations for the expected rush.  They hired extra workers just for the holiday season, and are holding extra hours.

"Just making sure that we're fully staffed, making sure that all the costumers are being taken care of, not long lines so the customers don't have to wait," said Joseph.

Retailers said gift cards will generate a lot of revenue over the next few days.  It's also when they'll see folks invest in high price item now on sale.

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