uggs children shoppers as momentum carries into post
Though Christmas and a couple of nights of Hanukkah have come and gone, crowded stores on Monday showed that the tail end of December is still a busy time for area retailers and shoppers alike.
This is too crazy for me, said Maureen Hare, while seated in a bustling atrium at the St. Louis Galleria. But I had family from out of town, and they wanted to shop.
Despite thick crowds and snarled traffic at the mall, the St. Louis resident said she was able to make the most of the trip by hitting a Macys one day sale and also handling some returns.
Retailers, too, said that despite fatigue from the frantic months leading up to Christmas, theres no letting up just yet, as energy immediately pivots to returns, post holiday sales and redeeming gift cards and certificates.
Today, well do about $150,000 in sales, said Kim Hawley, the manager of the Dillards store at the Galleria. For comparison, she said, thats about half the stores Black Friday sales volume. And an even busier day looms less than a week away, when Hawley expects the store will do close to $1 million at its New Years Day sale.
But returns are, of course, another major order of business in the immediate aftermath of Christmas. At a single department store, the daily volume of returns can measure in the tens of thousands of dollars.
Hawley, for instance, said her Dillards store would process about $24,000 in returns on Monday. She said that at Dillards stores in the companys regional sales district which primarily includes St. Louis and major cities in Ohio over $90,000 worth of Ugg boots were returned as of midafternoon, offsetting about $70,000 in Ugg sales on the day.
While shoppers look to post holiday sales as a time to snag strong bargains, retailers use them as a prime opportunity to clear inventory.
As a retailer you want to get all your extra bulk, all your extra inventory out so you can start a new year fresh, said Lauren Riegler, the store manager at Geranium, a boutique in West County Center.
You paid for it back in July, Riegler continues. You want to get it off your balance sheet (and) bring in new merchandise.
Post holiday shopping sprees are by no means confined to malls . Plenty of small businesses had a busy Monday as well.
Weve had a lot of people coming in to use gift certificates, said Michelle Barron, the owner of the Book House in Maplewood. We sold a ton of those this year.
Barron said it isnt unusual for the strong holiday sales season to residually carry over until mid January or so. She thinks that may be because book recommendations are a lot of what comes up in conversation with families over the holidays, and because the winter months are prime candidates for indoor activities such as reading.
Meanwhile, Barron hopes the stores hundreds of gift certificate sales this year, which were about three times higher than the year before, are a sign the business is becoming more established. In addition to monetary value, she said, gift certificates to local businesses can provide more of an experience than gift cards to larger retailers.
With Amazon, you go online, and its all about the thing. Ours is an experience, its all about the experience, Barron said. This one family, they were going to get all the kids gift certificates and make it into a whole outing in January.
Beyond the usual explanations for post holiday shopping, some retailers think people may simply still be in the giving spirit or abiding by a better late than never gift giving philosophy.