Prepare to Keep Shopping

Retailers hope to lure shoppers with post holiday bargains

Not that hard core shoppers need the justification, but experts are expecting a post-holiday rush to the stores -- especially since the day after Christmas falls on a Saturday.

And it won't just be folks returning those less-than-desirable gifts filling the stores, retailers are hoping to drive more purchases by slashing prices. reported that many stores are extending discounts on merchandise beyond Christmas in order to snag the gift card crowd and the bargain hunters.

Walmart was offering half-off toys, and Toys R Us touted buy one, get one half-off offers. At Sears, customers could find coats for 70 percent off. And Gap Inc.'s Old Navy brand was selling men's and women's jeans for $15, and an e-mail encouraged shoppers to "redeem your gift cards today."
J.C. Penney Co. planned to offer doorbuster specials and open its stores at 5 a.m. on Saturday, the earliest the store has ever opened the day after Christmas.

Diana Mayfield, a 56-year-old business trainer from Jacksonville, Ill., managed to get two Christmas ornaments for $6, marked down from $28. She was out before dawn Saturday scouring for next year's Christmas gifts.

"It's 60 percent off original, so that's pretty good," she said while eyeing a rack of sweaters. "I usually get my electronics the day after Thanksgiving, and we get clothes and paper goods the day after Christmas."

Knowing holiday shoppers would likely spend less, merchants carefully managed inventory for the season. That meant by Saturday, some store shelves were practically empty.

While some people are content to wait until most stores reopen on Saturday, others were left scrambling to find last-minute gifts on Christmas Day.

Kelly Zambrano headed to Walgreens, one of the only retailers open Friday.

"She isn't my best friend, but when I found out she got me a present, I had to get her a present," Zambrano said.

Or better yet, she could have avoided her friend until the sales kick in Saturday.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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