Local retailers are pleased with the thousands of customers who are out in force today hunting out a Boxing Day bargain.

Papamoa Plaza centre manager David Hill said some retailers and staff were at the complex from 6am this morning and customers queued up waiting for the plaza to open.

He said the plaza had continuously been busy ever since and foot traffic was slightly up compared to Boxing Day last year.

"It's nuts," Hill said.

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He said the centre had been planning all year for today which was one of the busiest days.

"We are excited about the records we have ticked off this year and look forward to seeing that continue into next year."

Bayfair Shopping Centre manager Steve Ellingford said the centre opened an hour earlier and a few organised customers were mingling around the complex waiting for the stores to open.

He said a steady stream of about 1000 people were now coming through the doors every 15 minutes.

Ellingford said there was a pleasant atmosphere at the centre and people seemed to be happy and enjoying the day.

He said more people were out shopping today, compared to last Boxing Day, and feedback from customers and retailers about the opening of more than 30 new stores this year had been "fantastic".

"A common response has been 'it's just like shopping in Auckland'," Ellingford said.

Which was exactly what the centre wanted to offer; the experience of shopping in a big city but being able to do that locally, he said.

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Tauranga Crossing operations manager Jill McKenzie said a steady stream of cars was nicely filling up the car park this morning as people prepared for a day of shopping.

"I saw a lot of happy people leaving Noel Leeming, and it was great to see customers enjoying breakfast in the sunshine," she said.

McKenzie said foot traffic at Tauranga Crossing had increased as more stores were opened and announced to open at the development.

She said today was on track to be one of the busiest days of the year for retailers, and everyone was looking forward to the next stage opening in April next year.

Fraser Cove Shopping Centre asset manager Marie Mischewski said it seemed customers had a sleep in this morning, but the complex was now "humming".

She said all stores at Fraser Cover were offering sales today and there was something for everyone.

Not only was major retailer The Warehouse packed with customers but other stores such as Godfreys, which sold vacuums and cleaning products, had been full most of the morning, Mischewski said.

Tauranga locals Sharyn Francis and Mike Simmons popped down to Fraser Cove about midday to check out the sales at The Warehouse.

Francis said she already knew what she wanted to purchase before she went into the shop to buy a video game.

She also picked up other items such as beach chairs to enjoy over the summer.

Some of her purchases were full price, but Francis said there were also some buy-one-get-one-half price offers.

Francis said she thought the complex would be a lot busier and was looking forward to grabbing a coffee and enjoying the rest of Boxing Day.