Shoppers seek after-Christmas bargains

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Jason Doyle had a good reason to hit the Gateway mall the day after Christmas -- one of his gifts already needed fixing.

Clutching his MacBook Air laptop computer, Doyle said he'd run into problems getting it set up and needed help from the experts at the Apple Store.

After they reset his password, Doyle was ready to head home to Copperton. But his wife, Mandy, and their children were just getting started.

"I got more than I wanted for Christmas," Mandy Doyle said. But that wasn't going to stop her from searching for after-Christmas bargains Sunday.

"I can't help it. I have no self control," she laughed. "Just ask him."

Another family came to the mall just to browse.

And, Robin McCaul of Ogden said, "to get out of the house. We're swamped in Christmas toys and we needed a little day out."

She said they were shopping for "absolutely nothing. We decided we have everything we need. We decided to just walk around and enjoy the day."

But her husband, Brian, noted she already had purchased some athletic wear. Still, Robin McCaul said, they'd managed to tour the Build-A-Bear store with their children, Paige, 6, and William, 3 ½, without making a purchase.

"It was tough," she said. "But we have birthdays coming up."

Mariana Madrigal and her boyfriend, Andrews Barroso, were visiting Utah from Mexico City and were eager to buy.

"Today is our opportunity to be shopping," Madrigal said. "We come every year on this day so we know the stores and sales."

Each toted bags bulging with clothing, which they said was much cheaper to purchase in the United States. Later, Madrigal said they'd head to Fashion Place mall in Murray.

The only downside, she said, was the weather. Back in Mexico City, she said it would be better -- "no cold. Sunny."

The snow started falling early Sunday afternoon, but most shoppers said they didn't mind. "I like snow so this makes it even better," said Harriet Hopf, who was scouting out a basketball hoop for her 12-year-old daughter.

Carol DiTullio, though, was anxious to leave. Huddled by one of the fire pits at the mall, she was waiting for her adult daughter to finish returning a few gifts and checking out the sales.

"I don't want to go shopping today because I've done enough shopping the last few months," she said. "I'm cold and I want to go home."

Stores reported doing a brisk business, especially those that offered significant markdowns, often 50 percent or more off already reduced prices.

"A lot of people came in wanting to buy," Lexie Hogan, a clerk at The Walking Company shoe store said. She said the store saw fewer returns than usual.

"That just means," she said," that we'll get slammed tomorrow."


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