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SHOPPERS RETURN TO STORES IN FORCE

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Shoppers beat down the doors at businesses across the valley Monday with Santa stuff that was either too big, too small, the wrong color, a bad choice or just plain didn't work or to get the jump on super, post-Christmas bargains.

At Toys `R' Us in Sugar House, people stood in a line stretched across a rain-drenched parking lot before the store opened at 9:30 a.m."It doesn't work," one man in line said, holding an electronic Power Rangers game. "A 5-year-old kid just doesn't understand."

For some people, leaving town for a trip to see the University of Utah play in the Freedom Bowl Tuesday meant they had to face crowds Monday with their returns.

Most stores welcomed returns, preferably accompanied by a receipt. Other shoppers got an early start Monday to take advantage of cut-rate bargains.

Bargain-hunters descended in droves at Modern Display, 424 S. 700 East, for its annual after-Christmas sale.

When Pam Lyman, personnel director, arrived at work, people were lined up outside the store and their vehicles snaked all the way down to 600 East.

"It's kind of like the RC Willey commercial," Lyman said. "The showroom is packed with people. It's kind of crazy."

Shoppers and those returning Christmas gifts encountered some fog Monday morning and will have to brave cloudy, drizzling weather into the late afternoon and evening.

The light rain washed much of the pollution from the air Monday, and no restrictions were issued on wood-burning stoves and fireplaces.