Shoppers head back to stores

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 25, 1999

There is no rest for the wicked, the weary – or the shop-a-holics.

Saturday, December 25, 1999

There is no rest for the wicked, the weary – or the shop-a-holics.

Email newsletter signup

Today might be the official end of Christmas, but preparations for next year will just be getting started, said Melissa Grubbs, Wal-Mart assistant manager.

"The day after Christmas is the same rush, habit and routine in the shopping world as the day after Thanksgiving," Ms. Grubbs said. "I’m sure it will be busy as usual."

Not only will shoppers crowd into the stores to snatch up any leftover bargains, they’ll also be searching for recently-reduced Christmas merchandise today, said Paul Goebel, Ironton Ames Department Store manager.

"We’ll do the usual Trim-A-Tree," Goebel said. "All the Christmas stuff is usually half off the day after Christmas. It’s kind of busy. There’s a lot of stuff on sale. And it’s a big draw when you can get something for half price instead of full price."

And no one can go wrong stocking up on Christmas supplies, Goebel added.

"Stuff like wrapping paper – that stuff will last forever," he said.

Not everyone in the stores today will be after a great bargain, however, Ms. Grubbs said.

Many people will be returning items that fit them a bit too snugly or exchanging brands of perfume.

"We’ll put signs on the entrance door," she said. "They will enter through there, walk through the cashier lines in reverse and be able to go back into the stores."

In addition to extra return merchandise work stations to simplify the shopping experience today, Wal-Mart also will offer customers gift cards instead of cash when they return an item without a receipt, Ms. Grubbs said.

"The shopper can spend it at any time," she said. "It makes it a lot easier and faster."

To further improve the shopping experience, there are a few simple steps a consumer can take when returning merchandise, Goebel said.

"The easiest thing is to try to save the receipt," he said. "If you don’t have the receipt, try to save the tags off the merchandise. The boxes have UPC codes, and the sweaters have tags on them, too."

Without the tags or receipt, merchandise may still be returned for the exchange value, but, the process is more involved, Goebel said.

"It takes longer to do a price check on a piece of clothing that has no tags," he said.

Bringing the tags or receipt is still the best plan if you are seeking a refund or exchange, Goebel said.

Both Wal-Mart and Ames will maintain normal store hours today.