BARBOURSVILLE, W.Va. — The Christmas gift-giving season is just about in the books and that means stores are now gearing up for a second wind of customers. The post-holiday customers of gift returns, gift exchanges and gift card users.

According to the National Retail Federation, nearly three out of four holiday shoppers checked return policies before making a purchase.

Val Zenteno, the property manager at the Huntington Mall, expects traffic to continue to be steady.

“Normally right after Christmas for the next 7 to 10 days is when the bulk of the returns are done,” he said. “The ones that did receive a gift card for Christmas, they come in right after starting today (Wednesday) and business will be brisk all the way through the weekend and into New Year’s. A lot of gift cards do drive that traffic.”

Zenteno added that customers coming to the mall to spend gift cards usually spend even more.

“When someone does receive a gift card and try to spend it, quite often they will spend extra. They are trying to take advantage of the markdowns and they find themselves spending more than what the gift card denomination was”

But when does the traffic being to die down the mall?

“Normally you start to see traffic starting to reduce itself when your public schools and colleges go back,” Zenteno said. “That is when the parents and everyone else get back into the same routine. Until then, the traffic will stay very brisk.”

According to Zenteno, some retailers are not waiting for that post-Christmas traffic to die down before moving on to the Spring sales.

“A lot of your larger national retailers have already geared up for after Christmas and done their floor changes,” he said. “A lot of them have done it this morning (Wednesday) or are doing it currently. They are concentrating on Spring and receive some of that Spring merchandise.”

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