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Stores, shoppers cash in

Jenni Bourdon treats her daughter-in-law, Carissa, to some post-Christmas Day shopping Sunday morning at the Old Navy store in west Olympia. "The consumer's confidence is up," store manager Pam Rager said, "but so is the retailer's."
Jenni Bourdon treats her daughter-in-law, Carissa, to some post-Christmas Day shopping Sunday morning at the Old Navy store in west Olympia. "The consumer's confidence is up," store manager Pam Rager said, "but so is the retailer's." The Olympian

OLYMPIA - Those looking to spend gift cards and cash that arrived in stockings and boxes came out in force Sunday as the busy Christmas shopping season continued.

A steady stream of people flowed through the Old Navy store at the Cooper Point Marketplace in Olympia looking to find good deals, use gift cards or return items.

Jacki Canedy and her 2-year-old daughter, Olivia, headed straight for the clearance section, bent on finding winter gear for next year.

“We’re looking for kids clothes because she grows so fast,” Canedy said.

Most of Olivia’s Christmas presents were toys, so Sunday was all about getting new clothes. And for mom, the sales were only important if they weren’t accompanied with the headaches of packed stores and parking lots.

“We came here because we knew it wouldn’t be too crazy,” she said, adding that shopping with a toddler is hard enough.

Sunday was all about spending gift cards for Jenni Bourdon and her daughter-in-law, Carissa Bourdon. With clothes draped over her arm, Jenni Bourdon said getting gift cards for Carissa made it easier for her to pick out what she wanted. Spending money on her children is something she’s always enjoyed.

“It’s part of the fun part of being a mother-in-law,” she said. “Another kid to spoil.”

And while the store wasn’t busting at the seams with shoppers, Old Navy’s manager Pam Rager says the holidays have been good for her store and that strong sales are expected for the rest of the week as consumers bring in gift cards and cash.

“The consumer’s confidence is up, but so is the retailer’s,” Rager said.

So far, it’s been the best holiday season for retailers since 2007, which was a record year. The week ending Jan. 1 makes up less than 10 percent of the Nov. 1-Dec. 31 season, but accounts for more than 15 percent of holiday spending, research firm ShopperTrak says.

Analysts say the holiday season spending is on track to rise 3 to 4 percent, the best percentage increase since 2006.

The day after Christmas was the second-highest revenue day for retailers last year, with $7.9 billion spent, according to ShopperTrak.

Online spending rose more than 16 percent the week ending Christmas Day, IBM Coremetrics said. The average order rose 13 percent to $192.52.

From Nov. 1 through Dec. 19 this year, total online spending rose 12 percent to $28 billion, according to research firm comScore Inc.

Shopping the day after Christmas has been a tradition for sisters Amy Murphy, Tracy Bond and Sharon Furubotten for the past three years.

The “sister brigade” hit a handful of stores before lunch Sunday, including a stop at Old Navy.

“I’m spending as much money as I can,” Murphy said while waiting at the cash register.

Bond said she likes going out after Christmas to get deals on ornaments and wrapping paper.

The sisters, in their 50s and 60s and from Grays Harbor, said they had a few more stops on their radar before calling it a day.

Nate Hulings: 360-754-5476 nhulings@theolympian.com www.theolympian.com/outsideolymia

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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