Swarming bargain-hunters create a real buzz

Bargain-hunters create a real buzz

Last updated 12:00 27/12/2013
BUSY STREETS: Thousands of eager shoppers flooded through the doors of The Plaza and Downtown shopping centre, as well as along the city's streets yesterday.

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Palmerston North's Boxing Day bargain-hunters scoured the shelves looking for the best discounted deals from the post-festive sales.

In one of the biggest trading days of the year, the city was teeming with crowds.

Thousands of eager shoppers flooded through the doors of The Plaza and Downtown shopping centre, as well as along the city's streets yesterday.

Cars were seen nose-to-tail around The Square and lining Fitzherbert Ave, Ferguson and Main streets.

Downtown manager Greg Key said foot traffic was up at the centre and finding parking on Broadway Ave was a challenge.

"There definitely seemed to be a bit of a buzz around town."

Staff at Palmerston North's JB Hi-Fi store in The Plaza said it was the busiest Boxing Day they have had.

Pedal Pushers manager Garry Buys said business was brilliant, with sales up about 30 per cent on last year.

"It's been really cool; a few years back we were all going through some hard times but now the handbrake has lifted."

Toyworld Palmerston North store manager Danny Walker said people were waiting outside the store 45 minutes before it opened and a steady flow of customers pushed the store over its ideal daily trading target.

Del Costello of Palmerston North, who was bargain-hunting with her husband and two daughters, aged 9 and 15, said the family enjoyed the Boxing Day sales because there was less pressure on purchasing compared to the pre-Christmas rush.

Laura O'Sullivan of Levin said the Boxing Day sales were the reason she came to the city.

Manawatu shoppers spent up large on the same day in 2012, according to figures released by Paymark, with retailers taking $3.5 million in sales on December 26.

This year's figures appear to be on the same track, with pre-Christmas Paymark figures showing Palmerston North has the country's highest regional increase in year-on-year spending.

Paymark statistics from earlier this week showed the region's shoppers spent a lavish $115.6m in the first three weeks of December this year.

Bargains could also be found online as Trade Me became a source of unwanted Christmas gifts.

On the list of undesirables was a Nokia smartphone, a car radar detector, new sneakers and a men's Casio watch.

Trade Me spokesman Paul Ford said about two-thirds of people receive at least one gift they don't want to keep.

Paymark will release this year's Boxing Day sales figures later today.

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- Manawatu Standard

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