Shops do brisk trade on Boxing Day
@devlincolle Tills were ringing music to retailers ears during the biggest and most frenzied trading day of the year in Invercargill yesterday.
The streets were crammed with Boxing Day bargain hunters shopping from early morning, with some queuing outside stores before they opened.
Some shops opened early to accommodate shoppers looking for the best deals.
The sheer number of shoppers meant people had to drive around looking for parking spaces and wait in long lines to be served in big retail stores.
There were also a lot of younger shoppers out and about spending vouchers.
H & J Smith chief executive John Green said, as expected, trading was solid and on par with last year's.
During the past few years there had been more out-of-town shoppers, he said.
The outdoor store had been busy and the department store also had a "full day".
"I think most retailers would be happy."
Michael Hill manager Sonya Chalmers said about 20 shoppers had lined up outside the Esk St jewellery store, flicking through fliers advertising specials.
It was a busy day, with all hands on deck and trading was comparable with last year's, she said.
Pascoes manager Sharon Smith said shoppers had arrived while staff were setting up the jewellery store.
"We were flat out, it's wonderful," she said.
Voyant Fashion Boutique owner Carolyn Nutsford said it was the best day of trading this year and staff were run off their feet.
Just Jeans assistant manager Debbie Thompson said it was a "very busy day".
Goodalls Footwear owner Frank Goodall said trading had been better than last year.
All stock was half price because the store would close at the end of next month.
Dick Smith general manager of operations Justin Wadell said the Invercargill store had a really good day of trading - the biggest of the year.
City shoppers had flocked to buy televisions and computers on special offer, as well as tablets and cellphones.
"We are cautiously optimistic about the spending totals," he said.
The Warehouse spokeswoman said: "As with most retailers, Christmas and Boxing Day is our busiest and most exciting sales period. All of our categories are performing well this year. Invercargill had a good pre-Christmas and is currently performing in line with national Boxing Day sales, which are strong."
Consumer electronics, followed by toys, are the biggest purchases.
Nationally, about 380,000 customers came through its doors on Boxing Day last year and numbers were expected to be similar this year.
The Warehouse sees 54 per cent more transactions on Boxing Day than any other day in December.
Paymark, which processes most of New Zealand's electronic transactions, will release an update on Boxing Day spending for the region tomorrow afternoon.
The Southland Times