VALDOSTA — Parking lots were filled Monday as shoppers turned out in droves looking for after-Christmas sales. The second round of holiday shopping has begun.

Round one opened on Thanksgiving weekend and continued until the very last minute that stores were open on Christmas Eve, consisting of frantic searches for the perfect gift.

Bright and early Monday, the day after Christmas, round two began. Shoppers crowded stores, clearing shelf after shelf of holiday decor and reduced-price items.

Target was one of the stores offering Christmas items at half-price. Store manager James Andrews said sales were up and it was gift card redemption, not returns that accounted for a majority of the store’s traffic.

Dr. Robert Aldinger of Valdosta was searching for “cheap DVDs.” Lori Gurley shopped with her family at Target for Christmas decor and her children cashed in gift cards for Playstation 2 accessories.

At Colonial Mall Valdosta, parking spaces near entrances were hard to find, aisles were crowded in many stores and benches were full of people waiting on family and friends searching for the perfect way to spend the extra Christmas cash.

The Wilson family was shopping for after-Christmas sales at J.C. Penney. In another corner of the mall, a sales representative at Belk watched people hunting for purchases.

Betty Barclay found her items in the home section; she hurriedly made her purchase with a gift card for fear that she “might lose it.”

The second round is expected to last for another three to four weeks, ending just in time for Valentines Day, according to a reporter with Businessweek. It is an important period to retailers who do not see revenue from gift cards “on the books” until they are redeemed.

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