SWEETWATER (CBSMiami) — Shoppers could not resist the draw of discounts on the day after Christmas.
The consumers packed local shopping malls in hopes of finding big bargains.
December 26th was forecast to be the 5th busiest day of the holiday shopping season, according to ShopperTrak.
At the Dolphin Mall in Sweetwater, parking was hard to come by.
Thousands of consumers flooded the shopping plaza looking for deals Thursday.
“We saved a lot of money,” Natalia Tique said.
Tique is visiting from Colombia. She said she saved big on shoes, clothes and a watch.
The mall was a popular spot for tourists.
Maria Almeida stopped by during her visit from Brazil.
“It’s totally crazy here today,” she said.
Almeida, like many others, had been shopping all day.
“We were here since 10 in the morning,” Valeria Steinman said.
Valentina Duke was in town from Chile.
Roughly half a dozen bags were hung from the handles of her child’s stroller.
“Eight hours,” she said when asked how long she’d been at the mall. The grand total for her purchases? “About $100.”
That seemed low for the amount of merchandise she had, but it’s not so far-fetched when retailers were marketing items up to 80% off.
Deal News says shoppers will get the most bang for their buck on apparel, brand name flat screen HDTVs, and Christmas decor items.
The outlook has been mixed, but the Florida Retail Federation predicted sales would be up by more than 3% this year, thanks in large part to tourists in the Sunshine State.
While gift cards were popular among gift-givers, those sales aren’t included in the figures until the cards are actually used.
Saturday is expected to be another busy shopping day, as people who didn’t have the day after Christmas off work will have a chance to cash in on the bargains and exchange or return items that were not on their holiday wish list.