BANGOR – Exchanging gifts or hitting holiday sales on the day after Christmas is a tradition for some, and just fun for others.
“I’m waiting for my daughter to return her gifts,” James Whitney, of Lincoln, said while seated at a table inside the Bangor Mall.
He had a shoebox in front of him.
“One return is done. Probably several more to go,” he said, a smirk on his face.
He was one of many exchanging gifts at the mall where many stores had deep post-holiday discounts.
“We come every year the day after Christmas,” said Melissa from Bangor, who was surrounded by her children.
Others were taking advantage of the deals.
“It’s 50 percent off so everyone is like now I’m going to come in and get everything 50 percent off,” said Lindsay Degrange, assistant manager for the Hickory Farms kiosk, which closes on Friday.
“I think we’ll see a lot of traffic, a lot of gift cards, also a lot of returns and exchanges,” said Matt Stacey, Lids at the Bangor Mall store manager. “We gotta make sure these people who come in for returns and exchanges get the deal too.”
It’s estimated that eight out of 10 people will return an unwanted holiday gift.
“We’ve already done the returns,” said a woman shopping at Hickory Farms. “Now we’re doing after Christmas shopping.”
Some shoppers were in Maine visiting family.
Job Johnson of Camden, New York, said he was at the mall “returning some stuff and maybe find some of the good deals that they have after Christmas and maybe buying some wrapping paper for next year at a reduced price.”
“I was really shocked to see that this [mall] did not open till 10,” said a woman named Franscea. “In the Carolinas, we would have been open up at 5 [or] 6 in the morning. It’s way different up here. Besides the cold and the snow, you guys shop different too.”
About 70 percent of consumers shop in the week after Christmas, according to the National Retail Federation.
Robert and Tanny Jordon of Lincoln drove 46 miles to hit the mall.
“We’re doing a little bit of after Christmas shopping,” Robert said.
“I had to pick up my glasses,” Tammy added, holding up a bag from Bath & Body Works. “It’s 75 percent off.”
“And I love just looking,” her husband added.
One local family just happened to meet up at the mall.
“Their younger sister was sick so we didn’t get to celebrate Christmas together, so I brought these two out,” said Linda Wheaton of Glenburn, pointing to two young girls. “But then I ran into my nieces with their children at Clair’s so I, being the great auntie, decided to buy them each something.”
And some shoppers haven’t celebrated the holiday yet.
“We’re doing some final Christmas shopping, believe it or not,” said a woman with her grandson. “I still have a few more days before we have our Christmas celebration. And we don’t have a children’s place down where I’m at, down in the central Maine area, so we decided to go to the mall.”
As Whitney left the mall with his daughter, he piped, “I survived.”