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‘Twas the sale after Christmas

Deep discounts hit the sales floors on the day after Christmas in order to make room for the new, spring inventory already waiting in the wings. DL NEWSPAPERS/Paula Quam

Merry Christmas. Now let’s go shopping.

That is what over half of you will likely be saying tomorrow, traditionally making it the second biggest shopping day of the year.

And as Detroit Lakes area residents sleep in their beds tonight, little store elves will be busy sticking discount stickers on all the leftover toys that never became Christmas joys.

“The day after Christmas, retailers instantly discount a lot of their holiday and winter items 50 to 75 percent off right away,” said Dawn Olson, manager of the Washington Square Mall in Detroit Lakes.

Olson says she knows that many stores have already gotten their spring inventory in and desperately need to make room on their floors. The concept of spring may seem 103 snow storms away for Minnesotans, but it also means they can get the good deals on the winter apparel still very much needed right now.

“Some of the locally-owned stores tend to hang onto their winter items a little bit longer, so their big sales actually often come towards the end of January or so, but the chain stores want to get rid of their inventory right after Christmas,” said Olson.

According to a recent report from American Express, 35 percent of Americans say they plan to shop for themselves tomorrow, 9 percent admit they are waiting to shop for this year’s Christmas presents in order to get good deals, while a whopping 21 percent will actually get a jump start on next year’s Christmas shopping.

And all this will add up to more than chump change, as experts expects Americans to spend roughly $8 billion dollars tomorrow. The average shopper will spend $187.

But the deals don’t stop on Dec. 26. Although Olson says getting to the stores early often pays off for shoppers interested in winter apparel, she also points out that local retailers will see a lot of gift returns that will inevitably also need to be turned around and discounted.

“And sometimes because store employees are so busy, it may take them a little time to get it back onto the sales floor,” said Olson, “and so those sales will last until the items are gone.”

In fact, the entire week after Christmas is said to be a shopping bonanza, as 15 percent of all holiday spending is done between Christmas and New Year’s, according to ShopperTrak.

Of course, much of that spending will be done with the always-popular gift cards that are ideally not being lost amongst all the wrapping paper right now.

In fact, 22 percent of gift card holders are expected to run right out to the stores tomorrow to redeem them.

And as the economy slowly improves, so too does spending on what are considered “luxury” items.

About 37 percent of Americans are expected to feel confident enough to spend some of those gift cards on “feel good” presents for themselves, such as haircuts/styles, a new outfit, new shoes or accessories and spa treatments, according to the American Express survey.

For many Americans, they are no doubt giving thanks for the things they have tonight, but make no mistake, they’ll likely have even more tomorrow.

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Paula Quam

Paula Quam is the editor for Forum Communications Co. newspapers in Detroit Lakes, Perham and Wadena, all in Minnesota.

(218) 844-1466