Thousands flock to 3-day extravaganza

Record number of visitors

NICCI MCDOUGALL
Last updated 05:00 09/09/2013
Southland Times photo
NICOLE GOURLEY/Fairfax NZ
Maia, 2, is excited about a toy car that mum Paula Beeching bought her at the Rices Powerstore Expo on Saturday.

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The gamble of shifting the Rices Powerstore Expo to the city's velodrome was a success after "tens of thousands" of people visited the three-day extravaganza, the Rices Powerstore general manager said.

Craig Balfour said a record number of customers visited the expo, which was joined by Smiths City this year.

Shifting from the Ascot Park Hotel to the SIT Velodrome after 30 years was a success, Mr Balfour said.

On the first day of the expo it was "pandemonium" as people looked for early bird specials.

The people kept coming at the weekend, he said.

"The expo has been awesome. There's nothing else like it in Australasia."

Remote-control toys and kayaks were among some of the more popular items, as well as beds, lawnmowers, barbecues, laptops and cellphones.

One supplier sold more than 400 of one model of remote-control car, he said.

Mr Balfour said several people had commented on the velodrome because, for some, it was their first visit.

Smiths City group general manager Martin Simcock said next year's expo would be even bigger and better, "and we're looking forward to it".

The Rices Powerstore Expo finished yesterday. The organisers declined to say how much money they made during the three days.

. nicole.mcdougall@stl.co.nz

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