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DeKalb County residents return gifts, keep shopping

Asset protection lead Kevin Carpenter (right) tags items customer Matt Beckman brings back to exchange Thursday at Best Buy in DeKalb.
Asset protection lead Kevin Carpenter (right) tags items customer Matt Beckman brings back to exchange Thursday at Best Buy in DeKalb.

DeKALB – Rochelle resident Justin Boston used the Kohl’s store credit he received returning clothes he got for Christmas to buy his mother her birthday gift.

Boston, who said the clothes weren’t his style, was among those who flocked to stores Thursday to return items or buy things for themselves from their own wish list.

“My mom’s gotten me everything I would have wanted,” Boston said. “I don’t really need much. I’d rather just give something back to her.”

Experts say post-holiday shopping can be just as busy as before the holidays. ShopperTrak, which analyzes shopping statistics, predicts Saturday will be the ninth busiest holiday sale day and the 10th highest sales day in November and December.

Local stores are offering big sales this weekend to attract customers. Best Buy is hosting a yellow tag sales event through Saturday. Those who purchase $100 or more will receive a $15 gift card.

Moxie, 230 E. Lincoln Highway in DeKalb, is selling holiday items at half-price. Courtney Wilson, manager of Moxie, said business was steady Thursday. Customers were still purchasing Christmas gifts because families have plans to meet this weekend, she said.

“We’ve been packaging a lot of gift bags,” Wilson said.

Sycamore resident Christina Bieche was at Moxie buying a gift for her best friend’s newborn son. She also was checking out the numerous Santa statuettes on display.

“You always find things [here] that you don’t see anywhere else,” Bieche said. “I always love to spend the time just to look.”

That’s something Shabbona resident Sherie Newman wished she would have done Black Friday. Newman accidentally purchased the wrong sized jeans for her son because she said she was frantically shopping at Kohl’s for Christmas gifts.

She waited in a long line Thursday to exchange the jeans for the right size. Newman said she loves shopping at Kohl’s because the store allowed her husband to exchange his damaged wedding band long after buying it.

“They know how to take care of their customers,” she said.

Jody Austin, general manager of Best Buy, was busy taking care of her customers Thursday. Austin said as of noon Thursday, the store didn’t receive many returns compared to past years, naming gift certificates “the choice of gift this year.”

Austin said the increased sales of gift certificates may be the reason why people are returning fewer items.

“They can come in and get the perfect gift themselves,” she said.

DeKalb resident Hannah Quist came into Best Buy to exchange a car camera mount that she bought as a Christmas gift for her boyfriend. Quist’s boyfriend races at Sycamore Speedway, where drivers drive about 60 mph on a dirt track, she said.

“He needs something sturdier so he can have a camera in his car and see what he’s doing,” she said.

Waterman resident Mary Kritikos was at Best Buy returning a gift her son bought for her husband. Kritikos already had worked a long day at Egg Haven Pancakes and Cafe, but she didn’t mind.

“As long as there’s no line,” she said. “If there’s a line, it’s a hassle.”

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