YONKERS, N.Y. – Christmas has come and gone but that doesn’t mean holiday shopping is over in Yonkers.
Armed with gift cards, unwanted presents or an unexpected flurry of Christmas cash, shoppers headed back to city malls Wednesday to wrap up this year’s shopping season.
“We had to return a few things and, with the sales, it’s a good time to use the gift cards we got," Mark Weaver said as he made his way into Dick’s Sporting Goods at Ridge Hill.
Experts on retail spending site ShopperTrak.com predict the day after Christmas will be among the top five busiest shopping days of the year. Nationwide, shoppers spent $7.1 billion on the day after Christmas in 2011 and similar figures are expected for 2012, the site reports.
"Dec. 26 is a very important shopping day, as shoppers return unwanted gift items and shop for marked-down merchandise," said Bill Martin, ShopperTrak co-founder.
“Dec. 26 is going to be a door-buster day," he added.
In preparation, both Ridge Hill and the Cross County Shopping Center opened their doors at 8 a.m., two hours early. There, retailers welcomed bargain hunters with sales and braced themselves for a day of returns and exchanges.
At Ridge Hill, a number of late-morning shoppers said they were going to use gift cards left in their stockings while others said they were there to return Christmas clothes that either didn’t fit their size or weren't their taste.
Inside the Apple Store, shoppers scoured the shelves to outfit new electronic gadgets with covers or cases.
“My parents gave me an iPad but now I need a cover to protect it,” said Sarah Lawrence College student Victoria Baker.
For some early-birds, the day after Christmas is a perfect time to get a head-start on next year’s holiday shopping.
“It’s kind of become a tradition,” said Yonkers’ Angela Patel. “Start looking now and you can find a lot of good deals.”