PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB)–As the holiday season slowly comes to an end, many take to the day after Christmas to return presents, spend gift cards, and shop post-holiday deals, causing quite an increase in holiday traffic.
Customers filled local department stores and shopping centers Thursday, wasting no time and taking care of post-holiday business.
“We have a lot of returns, people exchanging gifts out that they have too many of, things like that. And then a lot of people using gift cards, all the things they got, so definitely high traffic,” said Robert Berry, Target Executive Team leader.
With retail sales climbing, that also means long return lines.Those working this busy day, suggest planning ahead.
“I would have your receipts ready and maybe a list of stores that you want to hit up and you know just figure out what you want that way you’re not kind of dilly dallying, you kind of get in and get out,” said Syara Perez, Pier Park Marketing Director.
Pier Park saw a rise in shoppers around noon. Store managers say you can come in early to beat the crowd.
“Mornings are great, we seem to not have as many people out in the mornings or maybe later in the afternoon,” said Lacie Ouimette, Lizard Thicket Manager.
But if you’d like to completely avoid the holiday traffic, retailers suggest temporarily holding off from making returns until later in the week.
“We do returns for 90 days on stuff so if you wanna take a couple days off, you know get a little bit of rest after you eat all your Christmas food just stay at home a little bit and come back maybe a little bit later in the week,” Berry said.
With many stores also holding big sales after New Years day, shoppers should prepare for stores to be busier these coming weeks and plan accordingly.