By Dari Kotzker
It’s the day after Christmas, and shoppers are back at the stores.
“Basically because I’m cashing in some of the gift cards and also because of good sales they’re having,” said Ewing resident Ernestine Austin.
According to ShopperTrak Dec.26 is the seventh most popular shopping day of the year.
“Many of the consumers will be back in the stores redeeming gift cards, gift card sales increased again this year and still remain popular,” said ShopperTrak.com Founder Bill Martin. “We’re also going to see some fairly good discounts in the stores which will depress the sales numbers a little bit, its often a good time to get back to the stores to make sure everything fits and you get good value on your gift cards.”
“The day after Christmas is one of our busiest times, customers do come out because they do have off and like to go shopping and take advantage of all the sales,” said Quakerbridge Mall Director of Marketing, Marian Kapp.
Today, consumers are out in full force, but over the last few days, many faced disappointment and frustration with UPS and FedEx for not delivering gifts on time.
“It was actually UPS, not sure if it was their fault or maybe the actual retailer, but it came 2:14 P.M. on Christmas eve and that was too late, I had already left the house so sort of missed the deadline,” said Cranford Resident Kathy Bencivengo.
In a statement, “UPS apologizes to both shipping and receiving customers who may have delays. We had additional sorting operations at worldport, the UPS International Air Hub in Louisville, Kentucky, on Christmas and are making deliveries and pickups today.”
FedEx said they delivered outstanding service during the holiday season and experienced no major service disruptions. They will work directly with consumers to address isolated incidents.
“I’m sure the retailers are disappointed as well as the shipping companies are disappointed that they have missed those deliveries,” said Martin.
Mall officials expect stores to remain busy not just this week, but through January, and the outlook is positive for the shopping districts in downtown areas too.
“They’ve been really reporting record years of customers, I think it’s a real kick start for the local economy state wide,” said New Jersey League of Municipalities Executive Director Bill Dressel.
And Princeton Businessowner Henry Landau agrees. He’s seen a surge since the 2008 recession.
“I think we can more than compete with mall type stores, I think in a lot of cases they mark stuff up to mark to mark it down, if we mark something down, it’s an honest value,” said Landau. “And were giving the customer a quality price that a price they won’t find any place else.”
ShopperTrak is forecasting approximately $265 billon in sales during the busiest shopping period of the year.