Day-after-Christmas shoppers head out in Hattiesburg

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Day-after-Christmas shopping was expected to be huge this year.

Numbers aren't in yet, but falling on a Monday, meant no state blue law restrictions - so stores opened for a full day, and retailers expected shoppers to open the week by opening their wallets.

In an American Express survey, 57 percent of Americans said they'd be shopping today - 14 percent more than last year. And most of the folks shopping, were expected to be hitting the mall rather than the mouse, heading out to actual retail stores to do the damage.

We were really pleased, a lot of people were coming out today, a lot of kids especially spending that Christmas money," said retailer Ashley Arnold.

It's the day to redeem a gift card for a deal, return a dud gift or pick up something for yourself that Santa just didn't quite get to this year.

"Found some pearl earrings for myself," said shopper Jean Morgan who headed out to hunt the bargains.

At Hattiesburg's Turtle Creek Mall, after a rainy morning, business appeared to be booming in the afternoon.

And just about every store in the mall was slashing prices.

And with high numbers of returns on black Friday buys across the country this year - there was some of that too.

Some came to buy

"Oh always looking for deals. Always looking for coupons and I love the 50 percent off," said shopper Randy Zettle.

Others came to redeem.

"We're coming to Victoria's Secret to spend a gift card and look around at the deals after Christmas," said shopper Kenton Hollimon.

Folks came to stock up for next year

"Right after Christmas I start packing up for next Christmas," said Morgan.

And some were just in it for the goods.

"I think it's kind of fun because sometimes we get some toys," said young Autumn Zettle, who was at the mall with her family.

Copyright 2011 WDAM. All rights reserved.