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Malls Face Post-Christmas Rush To Exchange, Return

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Malls were packed Sunday as shoppers returned unwanted presents or spent gift cards. 

Gigi Barnett has more.

It’s the day after Christmas—a time for gift returns and bargain prices.  All that adds up to long lines and big crowds at malls around the region.

“I like the crowds—crazy as it is—and the sales,” said shopper Beverly Emenheiser.

“The day after Christmas is probably our Black Friday.  This is our big, big sale day today,” said Crate and Barrel Manager Rachael Eagan.

The Crate and Barrel at Towson Town Center opened at 9 a.m. Sunday.  Customers were already waiting.

“They were lined up at [7:40 a.m.] to come in at 9 a.m.  It’s been crazy,” Eagan said.

While most shoppers were looking for deals, some were returning presents.

Gene O’Dunn came to return a couple of pillows sent from his sister.

“I may wait til she visits,” O’Dunn said.

Stores say fewer people are returning gifts this week because many people receive gift cards.  Folks usually wait longer to take unwanted gifts back because of longer return policies.

“This is the fun day,” Eagan said.

Whether the item is bought online or at the store, retailers say the best thing to do is call ahead about their return policy and that way, you can spend as little time as possible in a line.

The International Council of Shopping Centers say about 13 percent of holiday purchases will be bought using gift cards this year.

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