Christchurch malls and shops seem to be benefitting from the grizzly weather as shoppers escape it to take advantage of Boxing Day sales.
Westfield Riccarton's car park was full by 9am and, inside the mall shoppers were queuing, waiting for some stores to open.
Dale Gallagher and Evelyn Tan were queuing outside the Michael Hill jewellery store this morning. Gallagher said they had come in so early ''because we're crazy''. Tan said she did not mind waiting for good discounts.
Westfield Riccarton's manager Helen Ronald said shoppers were ready to crowd the centre when the gates opened at 8 am. Boxing Day was one of the busiest trading days of the year, she said.
Blair Potter and Jo Lyver were among the first shoppers to get in. The couple scored a printer on special at Dick Smith. They saved more than $150 off the retail price. The couple said they'd just bought a house and were hoping to get more bargains today.
Dick Smith general manager Justin Waddell said Boxing Day was the biggest trading day of the year.
''We're cautiously optimistic for great sales today,'' he said.
Ballantynes was also busy this morning.
Sales manager Liz Mills said she was delighted with the turn out. ''The atmosphere is still festive and light-hearted and we have many happy shoppers,'' she said at midday.
She said she could see lots of shoppers braving the drizzle with their rain coats at the Re:Start mall.
A lift in trade had started in December and was still going strong, she said.
Paymark will release electronic transaction figures for Boxing Day tomorrow.
- The Press
Would you like to see the Heathcote River cleaned up?Related story: Alasdair Cassels to beautify Heathcote River