SACRAMENTO -- Santa has already left for the North Pole but the spirit of the holidays was still around Thursday, at least for Arden Fair shoppers attracted by sales in stores trying to clear out inventory by the end of the year.
"The sales are better," said shopper Shamiyah Lee. "It seems like they mark the prices up for Christmas then when Christmas is over they drop them back down and that’s when you go."
Retailers were upbeat after seeing an early jump in Christmas purchases. There’s no reason why that shouldn’t continue into the post-Christmas shopping season.
Many shoppers were armed with Christmas cash or gift cards.
The popularity of gift cards is a big plus for retailers. Redeeming gift cards invariably exposes shoppers to sales that they might ordinarily ignore.
The week or two following Christmas is also part of the holiday school break for high school and college students who have to kill time.
"I’m with my friend right now," said shopper Raven Crosby. "I’m just chilling and I saw some sales so I had to go get them. It was really hard for me not to."
Some were thinking after Christmas shopping is a little less hectic.
"On Christmas, it was way worse. Like a couple days before it too it was horrible," said shopper Aldin Kelecij.
Others don’t see the difference in the size of the shopping crowds, with desperate gift shoppers replaced by those with a fistful of gift cards or those looking for huge markdowns.
But that didn’t seem to be keeping shoppers away on what may be a banner year for retailers.
Of course, people can expect more enticing sales as we approach the new year and retailers begin stocking up for the spring season.