New York, NY, United States (AHN) – The season for giving and receiving gifts is now Christmas Past. Now, it is the season for returning unwanted presents.
Dubbed “Mega Monday,” Dec. 26 is expected to be the third busiest shopping day of 2011, with scores of people heading to stores in droves in search of after-Christmas bargains and to return items.
Stores are forecast to ring up $469.1 billion over this holiday season, which extends from Nov.1 through New Year’s Eve. The final week before Christmas accounts for up to 20 percent of those sales, with the week after the holiday also being very brisk.
Some retailers underestimated the resilience of the American shopper, believing they weren’t ready to spend during the still-weak economy. However, the National Retail Federation reports that the two-month period has been busy, and it upgraded its overall sales growth forecast a full percentage point, to 3.8 percent.
Some shoppers are just getting started, putting off buying big ticket items until after Christmas, looking for blockbuster year-end specials.
Stores are also preparing for the rush to exchange and return gifts. Many stores have changed their return policy, shortening the number of days customers can return an item and requiring a receipt for cash back.
For those that find they can’t return, there is an option. We promise not to tell if you save that unwanted present and re-gift it next year.