Shoppers slower after brisk start

The department store had been consistently busy but she had come across a range of people saying they had not started shopping, and others saying they had finished.

She believed customers were in a different mind-set, because they had two full weeks of shopping available to them before Christmas, and she expected the next 10 days to be the busiest.

Macklins manager Peter Dagg said the build-up to Christmas had been "slow" but the last few days had been "encouraging".

"I think people are buying smaller gifts [and] generally people are spending less."

This tighter spending is reflected in the amount of donations the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal has received so far this year.

Gifts given to the appeal, which supports the Salvation Army, are down 38% in Dunedin and 10% nationally, compared with the same time last year.

Just 7610 gifts have been given so far, well short of the campaign's target of 30,000.

Kmart's New Zealand manager, Sue Smith, encouraged people to help make another's Christmas a happy one.



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