Brian Scott, NBC 5 Denton County Reporter
Retailers and shoppers say thinner than normal crowds hitting stores for returns and after-Christmas sales may be due to the holiday falling in the middle of the week.
Many shoppers in Denton were surprised Thursday to see smaller crowds than usual on the day after Christmas.
Store employees and bargain hunters said they didn’t see the huge rush this year that they come to expect on this day. One store worker at Golden Triangle Mall said that their steady stream of customers didn’t start coming in until about 10 or 11 a.m.
"We've been out early so, we wanted to miss all of the crowds,” said Melissa Davis. who got a new laptop at Best Buy with little problem.
Many folks theorized that the odd timing of Christmas this year likely forced many people to go back to work on Thursday and miss out on the annual shopping trip. Others thought it may have been the choice by many retailers to offer the same sales online and into the weekend.
Some stores across the Metroplex opened as early as 6 a.m. for the traditional end to the holiday shopping rush. Retailers offered deep discounts - many as high as 50 to 70 percent off items.
Shoppers said the largest discounts did attract crowds and, depending on where you were browsing, some areas did get picked over by the noon hour.
"When we do exchanges we're getting right up there, but back in the Christmas areas it is a little crowded there,” said Belinda McDaniel, packing wrapping paper into her car for next year. “Everyone's like, 'I want this!'"
Leaders at Golden Triangle Mall described the overall shopping atmosphere as more relaxed this year with more folks taking their time to get to the stores; they may have been onto something.
By the late afternoon many lots had filled in significantly as folks made a late rush at the day’s sales.
"I know I'm buying a lot of stuff I don't need, but hey, if you can get it cheaper,” joked Diane Grewing.
Despite the sales being in the middle of the week though, many shoppers said the day after Christmas shopping trip has become a tradition they wouldn’t miss, and they didn’t mind a little extra elbow room in the stores.