By and  on December 27, 2013

Returns, steeper markdowns and racks of designer discounts brought out the crowds Thursday, in a big post-Christmas rush to the stores.

Early reads suggested the level of crowds and buying on Thursday was nothing beyond what was expected, but strong enough to support previous revenue forecasts for the holiday season ranging from just over 2 percent to under 4 percent ahead. Aside from meeting those revenue goals, retailers are anxious to clear out winter and holiday goods to maintain cash flow and make way for more spring merchandise, which in many cases has been trickling onto selling floors since mid-December.

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