Queenstown Mall was filled with diners and holidaymakers on
Boxing Day, despite surcharges. Photo by Olivia Caldwell.
Surcharges did not deter diners in Queenstown yesterday
as thousands flocked to eat out in the sun, while retail stores
struggled to match last year's Boxing Day influx.
The town centre was noticeably busier than Christmas Day for
the obvious reason shops and eateries were open and there
were retail bargains.
However, several retail managers commented that while it was
busy, they were still well under last year's Boxing Day sale
Owners of Maher Shoes in Queenstown, Caroline and Mark
Jessop, had ''Boxing Day'' sales running in their store
leading up to Christmas because it had been noticeably
quieter than previous years leading into the festive season.
''We've had a sale on here since before Christmas and that's
a tell-tale sign it's been quieter.''
Yesterday sales did not pick up until well after midday, she
said, and it was unlikely numbers would match Boxing Day
Mr and Mrs Jessop also run two restaurants in the resort, the
Tatler and Prime Restaurant, and both had seen a good number
of diners throughout Christmas and Boxing Day.
This was evident in all of Queenstown yesterday with tables
and chairs occupied from mid-morning down Queens- town's mall
While diners indulged on Boxing Day, Queenstown was not
traditionally the place to go for retail bargains, Detour
store owner Mike Collins said.
The lead-up to Christmas had seen more male shoppers than
usual. However, Boxing Day in Queenstown ''was just another
day'' because those wanting to do more serious shopping would
head to the cities, such as Invercargill and Dunedin, he
''Queenstown doesn't really do bargains, as such. Most of the
people here are on holiday and they're not too bothered with
bargains. They just want to relax.''
Next door at the Telecom shop, customers had been flocking
in, not for bargains but for general services, manager David
Rather than looking for good deals on cheap phones, customers
were setting up plan and sim cards on phones given to them
Mr Knight also said many were coming in because they had
either lost or damaged their phones on holiday, at the beach
or the pub.
''People lose phones, they spill things on them and also
people have given them as surprise gifts so they need to get
He predicted 500 people would walk in the door throughout
Meanwhile, the biggest seller by far at Queenstown's central
pharmacy, Wilkinsons Pharmacy, was antihistamines and