Post-Christmas shopping was calmer than usual for Debbie Martin and Barbara Maranto, whose typical frenzy lasts all day and night, concluding with stuffing their vehicles full of bags and eating IHOP into the early hours of the morning.
This year was much more tame. The two women were just shopping for themselves, their families and their bunco group on Friday, as they decided to forgo their usual task of picking up trinkets for their Volunteers in Public Schools fundraisers. By midday, they were excited that their accumulated purchases actually fit into their vehicles and they didn’t need to call their husbands for backup for the drive back to Watson.
Martin and Maranto were among dozens of holiday shoppers the day after Christmas who scoured Baton Rouge stores for sales. A couple of store managers reported successful shopping seasons, while those buying showed off their discounted treasures.
Martin and Maranto found half-off Christmas merchandise at The Royal Standard by the overpass on Perkins Road, and they jumped at the ornaments and knickknacks.
“Ooh, good bunco gift,” said Maranto, spotting a sparkly bauble on one of the store’s Christmas trees. She exchanges gifts every year with her club of friends who play bunco, a dice game.
Martin found two ornaments — a purple ball with a glittery Louisiana cutout on it and a porcelain Santa — that she said will make great gifts next year. She and Maranto like to buy their presents while they are on sale now.
“Next year, you bring down that container and you say, ah, look at all those gifts,” Maranto said.
Hannah Michelli, assistant manager at Royal Standard, said its half-off Christmas decor often brings in droves of post-celebration shoppers. She said sales were up for the Christmas season, though people did not gravitate to one gift in particular.
At the newly opened Belk in Juban Crossing, Christine Powell, the regional manager, reported that the store had a successful start. She said steady flocks of shoppers have circled in and out since Thanksgiving, and popular items included jewelry, women’s boots and handbags — particularly Michael Kors ones.
A mix of sale-shoppers, those exchanging gifts and others still trying to find the perfect present roamed the Mall of Louisiana.
Brandon McCray said he was picking up last-minute Christmas gifts before he headed to see his family in Mississippi.
McCray worked on Christmas Day, so he was picking up mostly gift cards to bring to his relatives. Still, he couldn’t resist some of the mark downs and bought himself an on-sale sweatshirt from American Eagle Outfitters.
Roberta McFarland and April Davis also said sales had enticed them into several stores. The shopping buddies drove in from Belle Rose.
McFarland, a seasoned veteran of post-Christmas sales, pulled out her new shoes and sweatpants from Macy’s and J.C. Penney bags, going through how much she saved on each. She was most excited about a pair of beige flats, which she said were originally $40 but she got on sale for $21.
For others, post-Christmas shopping was no different from any other day.
“We’re at the mall all the time,” said Stephanie Dickerson, who said she was looking for a few extra goodies for herself and her family. “This is no special day.”