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Shoppers head back for more bargains
Stores see post-Christmas rush as people seek sales, cash in gift cards
Stewart McIntosh and wife Jennifer shop Saturday for after-Christmas deals for their sons (not pictured) Trey, 9, and Elijah, 3, in JCPenney at Lakeshore Mall in Gainesville. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

The day after Thanksgiving, known as "Black Friday," is highly anticipated by retail workers as the big day for shoppers to start marking things off their Christmas lists.

But what about the day after Christmas?

On Saturday, shoppers swarmed the stores in Lakeshore Mall, hoping to find the best after-Christmas sales. Shoppers were also ready to return certain Christmas presents and redeem the gift cards they received.

Denise Graham, store supervisor of JCPenney at Lakeshore Mall, said that the No. 1 reason people love to go shopping the day after Christmas is "because of the prices for the after-Christmas sales."

"We have door busters all over the store until 2 p.m.," she said.

Graham said that she wasn’t expecting as many shoppers as the store had the day after Thanksgiving, but she did expect a busy crowd during the afternoon.

"Our customers have been really nice this year throughout the whole season," Graham said. "But our customers are great anyway."

Barbara Ward of Gainesville was trying to get a few extra clothes for herself at JCPenney. Ward’s family chose to scale down on gifts this year because of the economy.

"We tried not to overdo," said Ward, who focused on getting gifts for her grandson, Brady this season.

Ward believes that you can get really good deals with after Christmas sales.

"You have to search, but you can usually find something really good," she said.

Stewart McIntosh of Gainesville was shopping with his sons, Trey, 9, and Elijah, 3. While returning certain items, McIntosh was also looking for new jeans for one of his boys.

McIntosh said that he didn’t spend as much on Christmas presents this year as in the past.

"We’re trying to get from these after-Christmas sales what we can budget and afford," McIntosh said.

Hannah Rogers of Lula said that she thinks it is sometimes better to wait until after Christmas to go shopping because Christmas items are reduced by 50 to 70 percent.

"I’m always buying more Christmas decorations for the next year," Rogers said. "We bought an artificial tree last year on sale. The savings help out."

Rogers’ family also chose to scale down on Christmas gifts this year.

"My aunt and grandfather are out of jobs, and we usually draw names, which makes it easier because you don’t have to buy so much," Rogers said. "My sister and I got one big item for Christmas and some other gifts, but we didn’t get a lot like years before."

But Rogers believes that Christmas isn’t about getting presents.

"Christmas is about Jesus’ birth and spending time with family and friends and just having a good time," she said.

Rogers may love the after-Christmas sales, but she doesn’t like the drama that can come along with them.

"I hate the crowds because people can be rude and hateful," Rogers said. "The traffic is awful, too. I do like to get good sales, but I’m not going to kill someone over them."