LIBERTY, Mo. - The lines at the return desk in Target near Liberty mirrored the holiday shopping season across the country, steady but never swamped.
This was the slowest shopping season since 2008. That surprised a lot of shoppers who even had plans for the crowds.
"I was going to have my mom wait in line while I went back to get what I needed, but I got right in," Lisa Bowles said.
"When I pulled up in the parking lot, I thought, 'doesn't look Amy worse than usual!' " Liz Spack said.
From wrong sizes to just not-quite-right, retailers hope shoppers will spend a bit more than their return or better yet more than the gift cards they got under the tree.
"This is the biggest day for gift card redemption," said Rickey Leathers, a target employee.
While retailers hope these last few days of 2012 will boost sales, deep discounts will make it tough to make up the difference.