The gift giving is over, but the holiday shopping is not

NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - The days after Christmas bring more than just leftovers. They also bring packed parking lots and crowded stores.   

Last week, shoppers were out buying things for others, this week they're out buying things for themselves.

That's because today kicks off the busiest week of the year for returns, exchanges, and gift card purchases.

While the gift giving is over, the holiday shopping is not.

People returned for yet another round at the mall today to bring back those gifts that weren't quite right and to get what they really wanted using their gift cards.

Sal Barrera with Best Buy says, "You'll see a steady line. For the next several days it's going to be a little busy. We definitely run all registers and we'll get to you as soon as possible. But you see heavier traffic when it comes to the customer service line."

Many retailers opened their doors early in anticipation of the crowds, but in Amarillo things got off to a slow start thanks to yesterday's snow storm.

Barrera explains, "In the past, we've seen a massive rush as soon as the doors open. Today they waited until about 11:30. Since then, we've had a line all the way through the front lanes, and wrapped all the way around appliances."

For bargain hunters, this week also brings some door buster deals, as retailers slash prices in hopes of a little extra revenue to close out the season.

Zane Logan with Sears says, "The sales are a way to help get people in, but a lot of people like coming in after Christmas because there are good deals. It's not as much stress as you have before Christmas."

As retailers tally their numbers, most agree despite the bad economy, their sales weren't all that bad.

But they are seeing some new shopping trends.

Barrera says, "They come in here looking for a specific item and they know exactly what they need to get. In the past, they came in with a lot of questions needing to be answered to find what they really need."

Logan says, "What we saw was a lot more of the smaller purchases, the tablets and things that weren't as expensive."

Many stores say they are prepared for this week's chaos with extra employees and security on hand.