Record Boxing Day sales boost retailers

By Lauren Owens

Boxing Day turned into a trading bonanza for retailers yesterday as tens of thousands of shoppers searched for bargains.
It was the busiest day on record for Bayfair Shopping Centre. Just half an hour after Bayfair opened, 850 people were pouring through the doors every 15 minutes.
The frantic pace never eased up and by the end of the day's trading, nearly 34,200 people had entered the shopping centre, enticed by 40 to 60 per cent discounts.
It was the busiest day in Bayfair's history - up nearly 16 per cent on Boxing Day last year.
Christmas Eve was the second busiest Christmas Eve on record, with 31,200 descending on the shopping centre - up nearly 8 per cent on last year.
The frenetic shopping bonanza was reflected across the rest of the Bay, with Eftpos transactions reaching 128,300 yesterday, an increase of 7 per cent on last Boxing Day last year. The value of the card swipes was $7.35m - up 6.1 per cent.
Paymark processes 75 per cent of all electronic transactions in New Zealand.
Papamoa man Kashmir Singh and his family were found in Farmers eyeing up a three-seater leather couch for $999, saving him $700.
In the bed section, Kathie Merritt was considering buying a Sleepyhead queen size bed for her son's wedding present, saving herself $1600.
Andrew Wadsworth, Bayfair manager, said after the boom in sales on Christmas Eve he had been forecasting one of Bayfair's biggest Boxing Days ever.
Wednesday saw 31,000 people through Bayfair - the centre's second highest recording of customers on Christmas Eve in its 22-year history.
Across the country, retailers agree the shopping rush began on Christmas Eve.
Paymark, the processor of electronic transactions showed, for the first time, more than $200m was spent in a single day of retailing.
The crowds were also packing the Chapel Street shops in Tauranga.
At Briscoes, a couple from Pahoia were picking up a few items to furnish their newly-redecorated home.
They had come into Tauranga especially for the sales and saved at least $120 - having spent $350.
However, for one Mount Maunganui man, it was all becoming a bit too much after two hours of shopping.

Alistair MacKenzie was spotted resting in an armchair, clutching his shopping bags while he waited for his wife and three daughters. He had scooped up a new pair of shorts at 30 per cent off, but said the next item on his list was "to go home".

- Bay of Plenty Times

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