Shops ready for another big day
Invercargill retailers are gearing up for today's Boxing Day sales which they hope will be even bigger than this month's pre-Christmas spending boost.
The traditional Boxing Day shopping spree comes on the heels of good December trading for most retailers in the city, which saw the CBD crowded in the days leading up to Christmas.
Figures released by Paymark, which processes most of New Zealand's electronic transactions, show spending for December 22 and 23 in Southland was up 7.3 per cent on last year; in 2012 people spent $9.1 million and this year spent $9.8m.
Most Invercargill retailers spoken to on Christmas Eve said it had been a busy day.
Southland Chamber of Commerce president Sean Woodward said business owners had been positive about a "great and busy" December and he expected spending to continue today.
"Business in the region has been positive since November and we are just seeing the results in retail now. I think things will remain positive going forward," he said.
Cotton On assistant manager Grace Kent and K+K manager Wendy Williamson said Boxing Day was traditionally its busiest day of trading.
H&J Smith chief executive John Green said Boxing Day continued to evolve and he expected it to be strong again this year. The uptake in vouchers was stronger, which was likely to be reflected in Boxing Day sales.
Voyant sales assistant Mel Carney said staff had been "flat out" in the leadup to Christmas and hoped today would bring more customers to spend vouchers.
Pagani manager Jaz Ferguson said clothing sales had been slow but many vouchers were sold, which she expected to be redeemed today.
Most Esk St retailers said they had also sold vouchers and they were expecting to see shoppers spending them today.
Popular items sold in the few days before Christmas included shorts, men's T-shirts and shirts, diamonds, small toys and wrapping paper.
Many retailers were told by shoppers they were last-minute gifts.
Sass Cafe owner Mark Hunter said his business had done well on the back of the positive Christmas shopping and the cafe would be open again today.
2degrees assistant store manager Troyden Findlay said the store would not be open today because it sold out of stock during pre-Christmas trading.
Boxing Day is also one of the busiest and frenzied trading days of the year for The Warehouse. It sees 54 per cent more transactions than any other day in December. Consumer electronics, followed by toys, are the biggest purchases on Boxing Day.
Today's shopping deals have been up on its website since Christmas morning.
Meanwhile, Dick Smith is offering customers the option to skip checkout lines today with its scan-to-buy mobile app.
The Southland Times