Returns and Exchanges Fuel Post-Christmas Shopping Rush

(Springfield, MO) -- It's the day after Christmas and you or someone you know likely spent some of it shopping.

Statistics show this is typically the second-busiest shopping day of the year behind Black Friday, and it certainly lived up to that claim in Springfield.

To put this into perspective, the westbound line of cars to get off the James River Freeway to Glenstone was backed up all the way to the Highway 65 interchange Monday afternoon.

Bargain hunters were on the prowl taking advantage of slashed prices in the after-Christmas sales.
"We see a ton of gift cards," says Jason Minard, Customer Solutions Manager at Best Buy. "It's one of our biggest things, especially once you get down to the last-minute Christmas shoppers."
But sales are just part of the force that's driving people to stores like Best Buy.

"For Christmas, my mom got me an iPod Touch and a gift card at the same time, but I wanted an iPod with higher gigabytes so I brought it back and figured why not use my gift card and I can use that money towards the new one, so it all kind of worked together," says Brittny Fredericks.

Thousands had similar plans over at the Battlefield Mall.

"I think that Springfield economically has done better than other parts of the country and I think that this is a reflection of that," says Eric Fjeseth, mall manager.

Retailers see a lot of people exchanging this year, especially where places trade in electronics.
"Generally returns are because they got a second gift and it's the same thing, so they're basically just trying to get something different because they got two for the same person," adds Minard.

So whether it's for a sale or a return, "We have two people ready to check in make sure you got everything," says Minard, retailers can expect plenty of business in this last week of 2011.

So why such a rush today? According to Consumer Reports, 20-percent of Americans planned to return at least one gift. And since so many people had the day off, they wanted to get it out of the way.
Consumer Reports also says that people tend to forget about their gift cards, so they want to use them while they're top of mind.

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