Shoppers Hit Tulsa Retail Stores For Post-Holiday Sales

Wednesday, December 26th 2012, 5:51 pm
By: News On 6

Christmas may be behind us, but some stores are keeping the holiday deals going through the new year.

The day following Christmas is normally reserved for returns, but some of the people hitting the stores Wednesday were there for the bargains.

Holiday shopping nationwide didn't grow this season as much as retailers expected, but from talking to people here in Tulsa, they said you wouldn't be able to tell it from the long lines at stores leading up to Christmas.

11/22/2012 Related Story: Shoppers Turn Out For Early Black Friday Store Openings

The day after Christmas, you'd expect the lines to move to the returns and exchanges counter, but that didn't seem to be the case Wednesday.

"We've extended our policy to 30 days past Christmas, so people know that they have time," said Rodney Watson, the general manager of a Best Buy on 71st Street at Highway 75.

Watson said the extended policy has taken the panic out of having to return items quickly and attributes the shorter lines for exchanging electronics to shoppers being better informed.

"Consumers are more educated than ever, thanks to the Internet, smart phones and all the mobile devices that are out there," he said.

Watson said the Internet has helped take the guesswork of out of holiday shopping.

He said most people there Wednesday were taking advantage of holiday deals on things like, "Accessories to go with that new iPad," which is what shopper Debbie Crawford was after.

"We thought there might be some great deals on electronics and other stuff, so we're just shopping around like everybody else," said Denny Meredith-Orr.

The Wall Street Journal reports retail sales for the holidays were the lowest in 2012 since the 2008 season, according to preliminary data from retail industry analysts.

But in Tulsa, some people say the lines before Christmas were longer and that they spent just as much, if not more, this holiday season.

"I spent a lot more this year," said Steven Steele. "I feel like I got literally everything that I wanted to get this year."

There's still a few days left in 2012 and major retailers like Best Buy are hoping that their extended deals will keep consumers walking through the door through the new year.

"There's great deals before Christmas, but there are some spectacular deals following Christmas," Watson said.

The National Retail Federation attributes the sluggish shopping season to events that have taken consumers minds off spending. Events leading up to Christmas, like Superstorm Sandy, the looming fiscal cliff, and the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut may have made shopping low-priority for many Americans.