Central Hawke's Bay shoppers got an early start to their Christmas shopping at this month's annual Boulevard Day in Waipukurau, and for retailers it was a chance to clear some old stock to make room for the new.

CHB Business Association head De Skilton said the shelves were now bulging with new stock across the district's stores, and many had their decorations up getting ready for the busy month of December.

As well as amassing new items, Ms Skilton said there were other ways the district's retailers were encouraged to attract customers to buy locally.

"We will be holding two late shopping nights, open until 7pm, on December 21 and 22.


"These are usually well attended with people getting last minute presents and it's just good to be seen to be open. We encourage it and some may choose to open on Boxing Day as well."

A new billboard promoting what was happening in the district, including Christmas retail hours, had also been installed near the Waipukurau bridge, with Waipawa encouraged to do the same, she said.

As with other smaller retailers the emphasis with CHB businesses was on providing a variety of good quality products and excellent customer service.

In the face of online competition, Ms Skilton said they made use of a Shop CHB Facebook page for marketing and promotions, or had their own Facebook pages and/or websites.

"Whether they have a website or not they post a lot of photos of their stock on the Shop CHB page - a lot of things are promoted on there."

Overall she said the mood was upbeat.

"Everyone is pretty positive and looking forward to Christmas, as well as looking forward to having a couple of days off to get into the spirit of things."