'Bits and bobs' shoppers forecast to lift sales

Last updated 05:00 23/12/2013
stl shopping

BARGAIN HUNTING: Julia Harvey walks Bentley Bear around H&J Smith, while shoppers search for last-minute Christmas bargains.

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Christmas trading is set to peak as shoppers frantically try to find last-minute gifts in the countdown to Christmas.

Wild Thingz owner Angee Shand said trade went up in the first week of December but plateaued in the second.

"There is a distinct camp this year - those who have completed shopping and those who haven't started, not many who had done half and half," she said.

Ms Shand said retailers would expect a lift in trading today and tomorrow as people scrambled to buy last-minute "bits and bobs".

Southland shopper Barry Slater said he finished his shopping in an afternoon, just three days out from Christmas.

Work had hindered his Christmas shopping but he had managed to "knock it all over in the two-and-half hours".

"I had a basic idea of what I wanted to get everyone, just needed the time to get it," he said.

Mr Slater said he had been able to buy all his presents in Invercargill.

Southland Chamber of Commerce vice-president Carla Forbes said retailers should be making the most of the heavy trading.

"Now is certainly time for retailers to be making hay while the sun shines. Those . . . giving the extra services [such as gift wrapping] are certainly seeing the results," she said.

She agreed today and tomorrow would be hectic.

"It's probably going to be quite crazy. Get your car parked nice and early." 

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- The Southland Times


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