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EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (WABC) — Shoppers from all over packed the American Dream Mall – and not a lot of people were returning gifts.

It could even be called ‘Black Monday’ — stores still have plenty of merchandise they would rather clear out and are slashing prices to make it happen. Analysts say people held on to their money for after-Christmas deals.

Holiday sales are up, even though Americans are paying more for food and rent.

Spending tracker ‘MasterCard Spending Pulse’ was expecting sales to grow by 7.1 percent – but it’s up so far by 7.6 percent. Clothing and restaurants are seeing big gains while jewelry and electronics dipped about 5 percent.

At American Dream, restaurants and specialty treat stores kept lines. The ice skating rink, arcades, and rides were all open well into the evening.

WATCH | The Great Eyewitness News Holiday Cook-Off

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Shoppers pack malls for after-Christmas deals

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