Bay shoppers turned out in force for the Boxing Day sales.

Papamoa Plaza manager David Hill said yesterday the plaza had a 15 per cent increase in foot-traffic compared to Boxing Day last year.

"It's nuts out there, it's beyond crazy."

However the mood in the centre was "quite relaxed", with Mr Hill noticing shoppers were spending more time snagging Boxing Day deals.

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"I'm amazed at how well it's going. The tills are ringing and the retailers are happy."

Bayfair Centre manager Steve Ellingford said it had been a typical Boxing Day, but shoppers were arriving earlier and in steady numbers.

"A noticeable trend this year has been the consistency of the numbers of customers coming into the centre right from 9am, this makes the customer's shopping experience far more enjoyable on what is the busiest shopping day of the year."

Maryanne Smith, of Tauranga Noel Leeming, said customers seemed to be making the most of their extended hours.

Traffic trying to access Bay Central Shopping Centre on Chapel St was backed up to Mission St at 1pm.

Mount Maunganui's main street was packed full of locals and cruise ships visitors dining and making the most of the Boxing Day sales.

Isla Rose employee Nastassja Paul said the retail store and an outside clothing area had been "really busy".

"It's been consistent all day, especially the outside part."

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Classique Women's Fashion owner Layla Sharpe said had noticed cruise ship visitors and some locals making their way through town for the sales.

Dairy 264 owner Narinder Singh said there had been "more than usual" numbers coming in to purchase goods.

James Kirby of Ours cafe, said there had been lots of shoppers drinking at eating and a few cruise ship passengers.

Shopper Trudy Browne said she had come out especially on Boxing Day to shop for goods for her and her family.

"I just came into the Mount for a coffee but I'll probably head out to Bayfair soon, hopefully it won't be too packed."

She planned to look for a new blender and see if she could find presents for upcoming birthdays.

"I usually wait and see what I'm given for Christmas, then hit the shops after."

Joey Roberts of Welcome Bay said he was trying to avoid the Boxing Day madness.

"I go a couple of days after Boxing Day, less people then."