UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 8:53am
WACO -- After two dreary years, Christmas 2010 could go down as the holiday Americans rediscovered how much they like to shop.
The National Retail Federation predicts spending this holiday season will go up more than three percent.
That's certainly true here in Central Texas.
Shoppers piled in stores Monday, browsing shelves and searching for bargains, but they didn't have to look too hard.
40 and 50 percent off items line the shelves, signs of a good day for shoppers hoping to cash in on gift cards and returns.
Shopper Stacy Dill and her little girl plan on making a day out of their post-Christmas shopping. "We're going to go look at some toys that Santa might not have brought and use our gift cards, go to some other stores that we had seen some good ads in and just kind of take the day and get all the sales that we missed during the holidays," said Dill.
Santa's treating some store owners in town pretty good too. Post-Christmas sales aren't just good for shoppers. It means more money for stores, added to the increase in sales they've already seen this holiday season.
2007 was best holiday retail sales year ever with $452.8 billion in sales. The prediction for this year is $451.5 billion according to the NRF.
Larger stores in Waco say they have seen good numbers so far. "Definitely strong, steady business this holiday season," said Target Team Leader, Sharon Chacon.
Even though return lines were building, Chacon says there's more buying than returning.
"All areas of the store did well from our cold weather and soft lines to electronics, televisions, toys, Ipads, games, gaming accessories, blue ray was definitely a big seller for our electronics department this year," said Chacon.
The NRF says the holiday season has surpassed expectations, and while employment data is a concern, consumers have shown a bit of confidence in the economy this holiday shopping season.