LA CROSSE, Wis. - 2012 is almost coming to an end, but before then, retailers across the nation -- including in La Crosse -- are looking for one last holiday rush in sales.
It's no Black Friday, but the day after Christmas is considered one of the biggest shopping days of the year for retailers.
This year, it seems like stores and shoppers are hoping a rebounding economy helps them end the year on a high note.
"Santa forgot to bring you boots?" Merle Bries, the Tradehome Shoes store manager asked a customer. "Yeah, no boots from Santa," replied a customer.
At Tradehome Shoes in La Crosse's Valley View Mall, Dec. 26 is all about making sure Santa delivered the right gifts for Christmas.
"Lot of exchanges," said Bries. "Dealing with a lot of maybe wrong sizes (and) Christmas gifts, that kind of stuff. Just making the Santa errors correct."
Bries said he anticipates Wednesday's sales to be double what they would normally be on a regular day.17907216
Tradehome Shoes, like many stores in the mall, opened its doors earlier and with more than double the staff on hand.
"If you're a lucky size, we might have something," Bries said to a customer. "Have a seat."
It's to ensure one final big push before the end of the holiday season.
"It is one of the biggest shopping days of the year," said Laurie Cafe, marketing director of Valley View Mall. "Of course, leading up to the holidays we had great weekend sales, but with all the additional promotions and sales that the stores are doing today, it's going to be a blowout day for everybody."
Cafe said even with a rebounding economy, foot traffic at the mall is still going strong. The mall has seen more than 16,000 shoppers a day this month.
Cafe said that number is up from recent years.
"I think people saved a lot more throughout the year to be prepared for the holiday season, so that helps, and then of course waiting for the great deals online, in stores (and) promotions," said Cafe.
Cafe said Wednesday's sales may be slightly impacted because of this year's "day after Christmas" falling right in the middle of the week, but she said there's still plenty of time to boost the final figures for the year-end holiday sales.
"It does change every year with the day shuffling like that and we anticipate that," said Cafe. "We are looking forward to this weekend's sales due to the fact that we are in the middle of the week, so we do anticipate not only a lot today, but the weekend and through the rest of the year."
So as customers are busy cashing in on some of the last deals of the year, retailers are hoping all of their hard work pays off to end this year's holiday season on a high note.
"You're all set," Bries said to a customer. "Thank you very much."
"We want to make sure that this Christmas beats every Christmas in the past," said Bries.
Gift card sales are also up this year. The mall has sold nearly 3,000 gift cards this holiday season.
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