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Shoppers search for local deals
Times photo: Brenda Steurer Barb Gelbach, left, helps Kathy Whitaker, Monroe, purchase some clothes from Das Baumhaus Saturday. Whitaker took advantage of some after Christmas sales downtown. Local stores offered sales the day after Christmas. Some are offering discounts through the end of the year.
MONROE - Stores on Monroe's Square were busy Saturday as shoppers took advantage of after-Christmas sales.

Store owners offered discounts for bargain hunters to encourage people to brave the snow flurries and visit local businesses.

"A lot of people got gift certificates or money for Christmas, and they want to buy things," said Barb Gelbach, owner of Das Baumhaus.

Sales the day after Christmas and until the end of the year are a holiday tradition Gelbach and other store owners encourage.

They want people to come to the stores on the Square to find the unique items unavailable at larger retail stores, including figurines, pictures, clothing, kids' toys and many more things unique to downtown shops.

Kathy Whitaker, Monroe, bought some clothes at Das Baumhaus Saturday. She had some extra Christmas money to spend, she said with a smile.

Gelbach sent e-mails to customers on her mailing list to let them know her store would be open Saturday and to notify them of available sales.

Christmas items were half off.

People went to her store to take advantage of sales for this year, but a few forward-thinking people even shopped for next year.

They wanted a 364-day jump on other Christmas shoppers, Gelbach said, with a laugh.

Robin Nafzger, of House to Home Designs on the Square, said customers kept employees hopping.

"It's been fairly busy today," she said.

Like other stores on the Square, her customers included people who wanted to buy a gift they didn't receive under the tree Christmas morning, as well as people who wanted to get ready for next year.