Thousands flock to 3-day extravaganza

23:14, Sep 08 2013
Maia Beeching
Maia Beeching, 2, is excited about the toy car that mum Paula Beeching bought her at the Rices Powerstore Expo on Saturday.
Eilse Anderson
Elise, 4 on left, and Finn, 6, Anderson playing on an electric drum kit at the Rices Powerstore Expo on Saturday.
Bridget Scobie
Bridget, 7 on left, and Jessica, 5, Scobie looking at dinghies at the Rices Powerstore Expo on Saturday.
Natasha Thwaites
Natasha Thwaites and Justin Ward looking at a table and chair set at the Rices Powerstore Expo on Saturday.
Werner Schmalewsky
Werner Schmalewsky tests out an electric reclining armchair at the Rices Powerstore Expo on Saturday.
Julie Faulkner
Volunteer Julie Faulkner helps Orawia man Les Black load his new lawnmower into his ute at the Rices Powerstore Expo on Saturday.
Julia Kappie
Julia, left, and Jared Kappie relax in what will be their bedroom for the next three days. The couple were selected to live at the Rices Powerstore Expo for the duration of the sale.
Tracey Glover
Early shoppers Tracey Glover and Graeme Walker join the check out que with their bargan buys at Rices Expo
Kaiaranga Matangi
early shopper Kaiaranga Matangi got the 32 inch TV he was after for $370 at Rices Expo.
Dean Taurima
Dean Taurima from Haier with Paul Robertson and Lance Rice of Smiths City unpacking kitchen items ready for display at the 31st Rices Expo being held at Stadium Southland.

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.

Southland Times photo
Maia, 2, is excited about a toy car that mum Paula Beeching bought her at the Rices Powerstore Expo on Saturday.

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."

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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

The Southland Times