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No time to rest for diehard buyers

12/25/2013

By RANDY GONZALES

rgonzales@dailynews.net

The Christmas rush extends to after Christmas, too.

While some shoppers were scurrying earlier this week to buy last-minute presents, the stores also will be filled Thursday -- the day after Christmas.

"A lot of people coming in with gift cards and buying things they want," said Cory Elsen, manager at Hastings Books Music & Video, 3300 Vine. "We get some returns they exchange for things they want.

"I'd say a lot of it is people coming in, spending their Christmas money or their gift cards they got for Christmas."

Elsen said Hastings will have some things on sale, as will Walmart Supercenter, 4301 Vine.

"It's a busy day all day long," said Walmart manager Mike Konz. "Lot of people are off that day and that week. We'll do lots of sales on our after-Christmas specials."

Both Hastings and Walmart are closed today. Konz said his store will get ready tonight for Thursday shoppers. Hastings re-opens at 8 a.m. Thursday, while Walmart opens its doors at 5 a.m. Gift wrap and ornaments will be at half-price, Konz said.

"We'll have some customers that will be waiting when we open the doors," he said. "We'll have a little bit of a rush then."

Konz also is seeing more and more gift cards being used.

"Every year, our gift card business really keeps growing. We do see a lot of gift card redemption," he said.

Konz said his store used to have a special line for returns the day after Christmas, but that hasn't been necessary the last few years. There will be more registers open Thursday in the customer service department.

"To be honest, our returns the day after Christmas have really dropped in the last few years," Konz said. "I think because so many people do gift cards, and communicate so well with emails and texts and the Internet, I don't think there's as many people getting something that they didn't want for Christmas."

Both Hastings and Walmart will have more people working Thursday.

"We'll bring in extra staffing and plan to have all of our registers open," Konz said.

Konz and Elsen both said it's a profitable day for their stores.

"I will say the day after Christmas will probably be in our top 15 days of the year," Konz said.

It's even bigger at Hastings.

"I don't think it's quite as big as Black Friday, but it's definitely just as big as the couple days before Christmas," Elsen said. "I think it compares to like the Saturday before Christmas."