Morgan Tait is the NZ Herald's police reporter.

Shoppers rise early to hit the sales

Eager bargain hunters queued at the doors of Hawke's Bay shops to get their hands on cut-price goods yesterday morning.

Large crowds gathered early and, once the doors opened, shoppers were seen running to reach sought-after items, including laptops, flatscreen TVs, barbecues and clothing.

Darin Marple of Tamatea said he went to Farmers as soon as it opened to get first dibs on the day's bargains.

"I was there first thing to get some clothing and shoes," he said. "It's the best day for sales and I got some vouchers to spend for Christmas, so figured I might as well get in early before it gets too packed.

"I managed to get into Farmers early and I was one of the first ones in there, which was quite good because by the time I got my stuff, paid for it and walked out it was just an absolute madhouse."

Crowds rushed into The Warehouse when doors opened at 8.30am. At Harvey Norman, staff had piles of the hot-ticket item - HP laptops reduced by nearly $400 to $348 - ready for waiting customers.

Napier Dick Smith Electronics assistant manager Luis Sanchez said he expected the store to sell out of Xbox game consoles.

"After midday we had a $200 deal on the Xbox and we are hoping to clear out all of them," he said.

Mr Sanchez said the entire retail team was working to deal with the crowds.

Number One Shoes Napier manager Don Grey said Boxing Day was one of the store's busiest.

"We had our buy two and get the third free deal, which is always a popular one," he said. "It is one of our biggest days, definitely. We expect to move a lot of our stock today."

In Hastings, Cotton On manager Kirsty Cavey said business had been crazy. "We are thinking pretty much all of it will go," she said. "We are the first to open and last to close, so people know they can keep coming."

Paymark figures released today were expected to show a growth in electronic spending from last year. Pre-Christmas shopping had tills ringing 5.8 per cent more than last year, with $39.6 million spent in the seven days to Christmas Eve.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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