MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Shoppers wanting to save a few bucks can find big savings during the after-Christmas sales.

READ MORE: Target CEO Blaims 'Unexpectedly High Costs' For Poor First Quarter Profit

According to the National Retail Federation, retail sales this holiday season were down 3.5 percent. But stores are still expected to come out ahead for the year, thanks in part to post-Christmas deals.

Macy’s, along with several other retailers, opened early Thursday morning allowing shoppers to take advantage of door busters and early bird specials.

Customers are finding big savings on clothing, marked down between 30 and 50 percent.

From now until New Year’s, shoppers can find also find great deals on appliances, furniture and cars or trucks as stores clear out inventory and try to reach their year-end sales goals.

READ MORE: A's End Four-Game Losing Streak Against Twins With 5-2 Win

In some cases, retailers see an even busier day than Black Friday. It’s a trend that’s shown up in recent years as stores offer great deals and the gift card has become a popular present during the holidays.

“It’s actually not to bad out and they have good specials. It’s been good, quick in and out, and they’re ready, yeah,” said Donna Sousa, a shopper.

Some shoppers actually wait until after Christmas to buy their gifts.

“I think it’s the deals. I don’t do a lot of shopping before Christmas. I wait until afterwards, because, that’s when all the good sales are,” said Londyn Selvey, a Target shopper.

Thursday also marks the third annual Gift Card Exchange day. The event is meant to bring awareness to customers that they don’t have to keep an unwanted gift card.

MORE NEWS: Kayla McBride Leads Lynx To First Win Of Season

By going online, shoppers can sell that gift card for cash.
For more information go to giftcardexchangeday.com.