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      Post-Christmas shopping begins

      The day after Christmas is one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

      In the Heartland, there were no swarming crowds or stampeds, but things were busy.

      The retailers in Quincy Place Mall saw a good number of customers making exchanges or browsing the seasonal sales.

      At the Target in Ottumwa, almost 2,000 people came through the doors by 1 p.m. Monday.

      "Black Friday is definitely busier, but today is a big day for us as well," Target employee Jess Hastings said. "Definitely clearance shopping, especially in our clearance department. A lot of returns as well, but nothing we haven't been able to handle."

      Before the Christmas holiday, the National Retail Federation predicted this year's sales to rise almost four percent from last year. Retailers in the Ottumwa area seemed to agree with those predictions. Many said spending both before and after Christmas seems to be on the rise.

      "Holiday season has been great this year, I'd say sales are up," Hastings said. "There's a lot of guests in the store today, obviously seeing a lot of returns today, but there is a lot of traffic in seasonal, electronics and toys."