72° Good Evening
72° Good Evening
Long Island

Long Island shoppers flock to stores for gift returns, sales

Former Baldwin resident Tiffany Robinson, visiting from her

Former Baldwin resident Tiffany Robinson, visiting from her home in Atlanta, walks with her son Micah, 14, and husband Steven after shopping at the Saks Off 5th store in The Gallery at Westbury Plaza in Garden City on Monday, Dec. 26, 2016. Credit: Steve Pfost

Presents unwrapped to reveal pants several sizes too big? Shoes the wrong color? Video games for the wrong system?

Sounds like some of the reasons shoppers flocked to the stores on Dec. 26 — the day after Christmas also known as “Returns Day.”

Many shoppers on Long Island spent Monday hitting local stores for returns and exchanges of presents given on the holiday.

At Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream and The Gallery at Westbury Plaza in Garden City, a steady stream of customers toted bags in and out of department stores and boutiques.

At the Saks Off 5th department store in The Gallery at Westbury Plaza, Renee McFadden brought back two of the three coats she had purchased for her boyfriend as a Christmas present.

“I bought three different coats and I let him pick one, and I knew that I would come back to return the other coats,” said McFadden, 43, of the St. Albans neighborhood in Queens.

The store was filled with shoppers, she said, including a robust number of returns.

“It probably took longer than usual, because today is a popular day to catch the after-Christmas sales,” she said.

One out of every three gift recipients returned at least one item in the 2015 holiday season, according to the Retail Equation, a California-based consumer analytics and return fraud prevention company.

The peak time for returns nationally was on Dec. 26, when return transactions happened at more than two times the normal rate seen during the holiday season.

The National Retail Federation trade group, in its December consumer survey, asked shoppers across the country and found that 48 percent of them were planning to take advantage of in-store after-Christmas sales, a small increase from the survey’s reports of 47 percent last year that planned to shop the post-holiday deals.

Tiffany Robinson, 38, a former Baldwin resident who was visiting from her home in Atlanta, was one of the shoppers who brought back a present and was further lured into additional purchases at Saks Off 5th.

“This is a present for my husband that was the wrong size — it’s just a sweatshirt,” she said, and added, “We ended up purchasing more stuff. The sales are good.”

Pat George of Baldwin had a strategy in mind to conquer the long lines at Saks Off 5th: Her son Jayden, 12, stood in the checkout line while she scoured for replacement pants for her nephew.

“Every year, there’s one or two items to return,” she said, and clapped her hands. “Now, I’m done.”

Latest Long Island News