GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (CBS 2) – When the blizzard blew out any opportunity for shoppers to cash in on day-after-Christmas deals, retailers had to find a way to bring shoppers back to the mall.

Just days after the storm, consumers are now in the driver’s seat, demanding record bargains and getting them.

“A lot of stores had like 70 percent off, which was awesome. We did a lot of shopping just now,” said New Hyde Park shopper Tracy Pignetti, who picked up clothes, sneakers and some stuff for the boys.

The Pignetti family was one of many to get in a line that stretched for three miles just to get into the Roosevelt Field Mall.

With lots plowed and void of snow, it was time to splurge. The Pignettis found bargains galore.

The storm cost retailers $1 billion, according to Shoppertrak, and stores are doing somersaults right now to make up for that.

“I’m stuck here since Tuesday. I’m supposed to be in Vegas,” said Joe Ziegeler, who brought his kids to the mall to cash in on the deals.

A snowstorm before Christmas can mean real problems for retailers, but one after Christmas means big bonuses for shoppers.

“The Retailers are looking to get rid of merchandise and what most people don’t think even though it’s cold, is retailers now view this time –December 26th — as time to get rid of winter stuff,” Hofstra University professor Barry Berman said.

Seventy-five percent off deals are seen in cold weather apparel, jewelry, home goods and furnishings, electronics and appliances, Berman said, as stores move out last year’s designs and models to usher in 2011.

“Board games are very big at new years for families,” one mall employee said.

You can even get some of those board games for 80 percent off.

Barbies are marked way down along with Legos, video games and those mischievous Zhu Zhu pets.

Shoppers used tons of cash and debit cards to avoid debt and skipped using the credit card to grab those blistering bargains.

It is full steam ahead until New Year’s Day. Retailers continue with special discounts to hook shoppers coming in to exchange or return gifts.

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