Retailers Welcome After-Holiday Rush

After numbers showing the best holiday sales in four years, stores are now dealing with returns and gift-card purchases.

The National Retail Federation estimates spending during the holidays will hit $451 billion, but it also anticipates that returns will add up to more than $44 billion.

A Hurst Best Buy opened early to accommodate eager after-Christmas shoppers.

Sales manager John Bigley said the store was "seeing a lot of people bringing in gift cards to get accessories for the main item that they got for Christmas."

But the store was also prepared for customers who needed to return items.

"We are seeing a lot of people come in to do exchanges if they got the wrong item as a gift," Bigley said.

Sale signs were plastered on many store windows at NorthPark Center.

Katherine Heasley, who was out shopping with her family, said she planned to use NorthPark Gold, a coin used as a gift card, to take advantage of the sales.

"It's kind of fun getting out of the house after Christmas," she said. "In the house all day, now we've been exploring the malls."

Shopping experts recommend the customers making returns bring receipts and the original packaging for easier returns or exchanges. They also advise shoppers to check the balances on gift cards before shopping.

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