LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - Valley View Mall staff said the pre-holiday rush last weekend was busier than Black Friday.
But, even after the holidays, the mall is seeing big crowds, and not just for returns. Much of that traffic is for post-holiday deals.
Shopper Garret Schultz is taking advantage.
The day after Christmas he made his rounds at Tradehome Shoes at the mall in search of the best post-holiday bargains.
"It's the best shopping day. Well, more or less, because there are so many people out here. I don't know if I'd consider it the best day to go shopping, but if I want to get some good deals, today's not a bad day," Schultz said.
Tradehome Shoes manager Merle Bries said while it may only be Wednesday, his store's as crowded as it would be on a Saturday.
It's double the business and Bries prepared for that.
"I think most people are actually out spending more of their money rather than just exchanging gifts," Bries said. But it does take a little bit longer to do exchanges than it does to just ring through a sale for somebody, so we staffed heavier for that purpose."
The Valley View Mall is expecting the foot-traffic trend to continue through New Years, according to Marketing Director Laurie Cafe.
"A lot of fixing Santa mistakes, if you want to call it that," Cafe said. "And then a lot of redeeming of gift cards that have been purchased prior to (Christmas)."
At the mall, people purchased nearly 3,000 gift cards for the holiday season, Cafe added.
The National Retail Federation's 2012 Holiday Consumer Spending Survey estimated 81.1 percent of shoppers would purchase at least one gift card this holiday season.
"You don't have the stress of knowing favorite color, correct size, Cafe said. "You then get to buy what you want."
Cafe could not give exact percentages, but said the mall is right on trend with national holiday sales, adding the number will probably rise by New Years.
The mall even opened two hours early to accommodate expected customers.
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