Shelves are stacked with extra stock ready for the last-minute Christmas rush and the race to snap up Boxing Day bargains.
But Christmas shopping seems to have been ticked off the list early this year as some Rotorua retailers say their busy period hit its peak weeks ago.
Retail NZ chief executive Greg Harford said retailers in the Bay would be preparing for a busy Christmas Eve today and Boxing Day.
"These days are huge for retail and are incredibly important this year given how difficult the last few months have been.
"There are always customers who leave their shopping until the last minute, and there will always be customers looking for some great bargains in the Boxing Day sales."
Harford said Bay of Plenty customers spent about $4.3 million in the shops - excluding food, liquor and hospitality - on Boxing Day last year.
"It will be busy over the next few days in the run-up to Christmas and again in the Boxing Day sales season."
However, Harford said there would be extra pressure this year because of the ongoing Covid-19 situation and stock shortages.
"Retail NZ is encouraging everyone to be patient, stay calm and remember that everyone working in retail is doing their best to help."
Q Record and Collectables owner Quentin Mcintosh was excited to be open on Boxing Day for the first time this year.
The record store opened on Hinemoa St in March and Mcintosh said he was expecting to be busy on December 26.
"It's definitely the day we are really looking forward to. And with Aucklanders starting to travel we are looking forward to a bit of a boost."
He said the store had been its busiest about two or three weeks ago.
"Everyone seems to be well on to Christmas this year. It has been steady in the lead-up to Christmas and that shows everyone is looking forward to it."
Mcintosh was expecting a lot of people to be cashing in vouchers on December 26.
"We have sold a lot of them."
Turntables also seemed to have been a popular gift choice this year, he said.
"There will be a lot of turntables under the Christmas tree. We are expecting people to be coming in and getting records for their brand new turntables on Boxing Day."
McLeods Booksellers manager Jemma Morrison said she had noticed more people were Christmas shopping earlier this year with higher than usual book sales in November.
"People have been buying bigger stacks of books for the whole family.
"We've also noticed a lot of people buying jigsaw puzzles and fountain pens."
Morrison said the Covid lockdown reignited people's love of reading with book sales increasing dramatically.
"There was great support for buying local and that really helped in 2020."
However, she said Christmas did seem quieter than usual this year.
"It hasn't been as busy as it was last year and that has been very noticeable. It's reminding people that shopping local is really important."
Book deliveries had also been slower, she said.
"It used to take about a week for a book to arrive from Australia and now it can take between four to six weeks.
"We have had to order a lot more in bulk amounts in the lead-up to Christmas."
Rotorua's Simply Different Gift Store owner Henriette Sampson said sales had been "quite patchy" in the lead-up to Christmas.
"However, we've still been well supported by local people and I'm pleasantly surprised by our overall sales."
Sampson said they decided not to open on Boxing Day this year because it was not usually a crazy busy trading period for the business.
"We face massive competition from the bigger chain store operators, especially on Boxing Day.
"Shoppers are wanting massive bargains, while we operate on quite different margins and just cannot compete."
Sampson said people continuing to shop local was vital for the success of all Rotorua businesses.
B Games store located at Rotorua Central Mall is gearing up for probably its busiest day for the entire year, staff member Ally Driver said.
"We will literally have the entire five staff working on Boxing Day when we usually have only two staff working on a normal trading day."
Driver said the store had got busier and busier as this week progressed and yesterday it had been "quite full-on". She also said they expected to be even busier today and looked forward to having a great Boxing Day sales day.
Rod Duke, chief executive of the Briscoe Group which owns Rebel Sport, said Boxing Day was the second-biggest day of the year behind Black Friday.
"It's a very important shopping day for all New Zealand."
Duke said Covid could mean a busier shopping day than usual with fewer people travelling overseas at this time of year.
"You can assume it's just going to be huge."