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'Bedlam' as shoppers look for bargains

By Sandra Conchie

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Bargain hunters were out in force at all the main shopping centres over Easter weekend.

Bayfair Shopping Centre marketing manager Louise Chapman said Saturday was extremely busy, probably because the complex was closed on Friday and Sunday, although K-Mart was open until midnight on Thursday.

One shopper looking to find a carpark at Bayfair on Saturday said it was "bedlam".

Ms Chapman said she would not know the exact foot traffic numbers for several days but she suspected the numbers would outdo last year's Easter trading.

Kylie McMillan, manager at The Warehouse in Cameron Rd, Tauranga, said Easter Saturday trading was "absolute chaos" with shoppers queuing early to snap up bargains.

"Not being open Friday and Sunday, and also the bit of rain we've had, has definitely been an incentive for more people to head to the shops."

That included shoppers getting in early to snap up winter clothing and bedding.

"One woman left the store with a whole trolley full.

"She told us she didn't want to miss out on the sales like she did last year," she said. Ms McMillan said Easter Saturday trading could in some respects be likened to the big Christmas spend-up but, while it was busy before lunch yesterday, it quietened down in the afternoon.

Bargain hunters also descended on the Bond & Bond store on Cameron Rd for its last day of trading, to take advantage of huge discounts on electronics and whiteware.

Pyes Pa shopper Daniel Gordon was checking out electronic items in Bond & Bond and said he was keen to buy a laptop and wireless printer.

"If I can save myself 20 to 30 per cent on the usual price, that's a pretty good deal."

But at least half of the stores in Devonport Rd were closed, including a number of food outlets. Downtown Tauranga manager Kirby Weis and Mount Mainstreet manager Leanne Brown were not available for comment.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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