Busy Boxing Day for stores

Ossian Woods and Nuala Jane pick up a haul of items for their camping trip to the Catlins. PHOTO:...
Ossian Woods and Nuala Jane pick up a haul of items for their camping trip to the Catlins. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
Shoppers are returning on Boxing Day, with retailers reporting some of the biggest numbers for the day since Covid-19.

Although the rain threatened to put a dampener on things in Dunedin, many retailers said they were seeing light at the end of the tunnel.

Acquisitions co-owner Richard Thomson said the early indications were that people were returning to shop on Boxing Day, although that might be in part due to their 25% discounts across the stores.

"But it has certainly been busy. We’ve had a reasonably good Boxing Day.

"Whether it’s down to promotions or whether it’s down to a change in mood, overall it’s been busier than last year."

Sales were up for items across the board, he said.

"I think at a national picture, Dunedin bucked some of the trends for slow sales prior to Boxing Day.

"In general, people might have been holding off for the sales."

Briscoe Group managing director Rod Duke said early indications were that it had been the best Boxing Day in a while.

"But it’s no longer the biggest sales day of the year like it once was. That would be Black Friday for us.

"That said, it’s started very well for us, and we’re looking forward to the results coming out in the next day or so."

Some "normality" had returned post-Covid-19, he said.

"That period was so peculiar for us. We would have lockdowns, and then periods of extraordinary activity when the lockdowns lifted.

"But I think there appears to be an air of confidence this year."

Briscoe Group owns the Briscoes and Rebel Sport franchises.

Shoppers Ossian Woods and Nuala Jane said it had been a successful haul for them at Briscoes, as they stocked up on items for a camping holiday in the Catlins.

Included among their haul were a mosquito zapper, a razor for the dog and beach towels.

"We’ve got the use of a 1970s pop-top camper trailer that still has that 1970s smell," she said.

"It’s the first time we’ve gone camping."

The couple said they usually avoided the Boxing Day sales, and frequently shopped online.

"But sometimes you need to come into town to get particular items," Ms Jane said.

Golden Centre manager Nina Rivett said foot traffic was up on the same period last year.

"We are absolutely delighted that shoppers were out in force today, representing an increase of 18% in visitor numbers to the Golden Centre compared with Boxing Day 2022.

"Many people benefited from discounts of up to 50% and 60% off selected items and those wanting to spend gift cards received on Christmas Day were able to grab some fantastic bargains. It was also great to see so many cruise ship passengers spending the day in the city and supporting our stores.

"The culmination of these factors certainly resulted in an upbeat vibe to Boxing Day and a lovely seasonal atmosphere for everyone to enjoy. With sales in the stores continuing, we are looking forward to welcoming even more shoppers over the coming days."

The Perc Cafe owner Sarah Hussey said it was a "frantic" day, with about 80% of their trade coming from the visiting cruise ships Celebrity Edge and Crystal Symphony.

"We had to double our usual staff numbers. We’re always busy on Boxing Day, but this was the busiest for a while."