Bethany Clough

The next wake-up-early to shop day in the Valley: Dec. 26

Shoppers carry their items through the store at the River Park Target in the during the early Black Friday deals in 2016. Dec. 26, the day after Christmas, is expected to be the second busiest day by foot traffic during the holiday season.
Shoppers carry their items through the store at the River Park Target in the during the early Black Friday deals in 2016. Dec. 26, the day after Christmas, is expected to be the second busiest day by foot traffic during the holiday season. sflores@fresnobee.com

The Christmas shopping fun – or drudgery, depending upon how you view it – isn’t over yet.

Monday is expected to be the second busiest shopping day of the season by foot traffic, behind only Black Friday, according to research firm ShopperTrak.

This is the day that energetic shoppers head out to snap up all those post-Christmas deals. It’s a young person’s game, with the National Retail Federation noting that eight in 10 millennials will be out there. But never underestimate the motivation of a older-than-them shopper looking for a deal on next year’s Christmas decor and wrapping paper.

Because so many people will be out there, some stores are opening early in a sort of mini Black Friday. (Shall we call it Gray Monday?) Here’s who is opening early.

▪ 6 a.m. JCPenney

▪ 7 a.m. Kohl’s

▪ 7 a.m. Macy’s at Fashion Fair, Visalia

▪ 8 a.m. Macy’s at River Park

▪ 8 a.m. Fashion Fair

▪ 8 a.m. Sierra Vista Mall

▪ 8 a.m. Visalia Mall

If your favorite store isn’t listed here, chances are it’s open regular hours. Check its website to be sure.

Surprisingly, just a small percentage of shoppers on Dec. 26 are returning or exchanging gifts. Most are just shopping, says retail federation spokeswoman Ana Serafin Smith.

In case you’ve got a Scrooge in your household grumbling about you doing more shopping, here’s your justification: You’re definitely going to get really big discounts.

This is the last chance for retailers to clear out merchandise so they can make way for whatever comes next, be it Super Bowl, Valentine’s or spring merchandise, Smith says.

“They’re really getting rid of a lot of product,” she says of stores. “You’re going to see some very big promotions.”

That includes gift-type items and winter merchandise like clothing, she says. That rack of winter coats? It could be swapped out for bikinis before you know it.

More advice from Smith: Get to the store early. Don’t wait a week because the good stuff will be gone. Some stores like Target have jumped the gun and started their clearance sales.

If reading this column is giving you anxiety, fear not. Stores will have sales online too, with 44 percent of shoppers planning to shop online after Christmas.

Bethany Clough: 559-441-6431, @BethanyClough

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