By CBS13 Staff

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The omicron variant may be disrupting holiday plans, but not holiday shopping. Holiday sales rose at the fastest rate we’ve seen in 39 years.

Shoppers are returning to stores the day after Christmas to return unwanted gifts, others going back to buy things they didn’t get.

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CBS took a look at a mall in San Mateo where bargain hunters are on the hunt for some steep discounts.

Unlike last week, a much more relaxed atmosphere at shopping centers across the bay area on Sunday.

No more last-minute shopping, although there are still a good amount of people at the Hillsdale Mall in San Mateo.

Aside from the returns and exchanges, we found some smart and experienced bargain hunters hunting for those clearance deals.

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At Bath and Body Works there was a line because they were doing 50 and 75 percent off on certain items.

“I saved $99. That’s gas money for two weeks. That’s worth it,” said Bridget Blount, one of the shoppers taking advantage of these post-Christmas deals.

In all, Holiday sales were up more than 10-percent compared with the pre-pandemic 2019 holiday period.

Experts say many consumers shifted their spending to e-commerce, but sales stayed strong.

Shoppers also paid more across the board for things like food and gas.

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In fact, consumer prices rose more than 5 percent over the past year, the fastest pace in 39 years.