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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S. Shoppers Pack Stores After Christmas

NEW YORK -- No sooner did Christmas end than Americans were ready to resume their holiday buying.

Shoppers crowded the nation's stores Sunday, lured by the deep discounts retailers were offering to clear out excess holiday merchandise. Many sought out bargains on items Santa didn't bring them, while others did late gift buying.

Some even stretched their shopping budgets by using gift certificates.

"I know that I can get better deals after Christmas so that's when I do all my shopping," said Paul Dillon, as he shopped at the Seminole Town Center just north of Orlando.

"Everyone knows that's when I do it, so no one expects anything from me until after the after-Christmas sales."

The buying binge in late December has helped retailers in prior years make up for disappointing sales before Christmas. In fact, shoppers did 11 percent of their buying after Christmas last year, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers, a New York-based trade group.

This year, however, many merchants won't have to count as heavily on a surge in late December to achieve respectable sales as they've had a strong Christmas.

"So many stores have made their sales goals for the season already that this week is just icing on the cake," said Tom McCracken, general manager at the Sun Valley Shopping Center outside San Francisco, which had its best holiday season ever this year.