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The city was packed early, with parking buildings full by 11am, as thousands of shoppers sought bargains. Arthur Barnett senior staff member Judy Mason, duty manager at the store yesterday, said it was one of the busiest Boxing Days she could remember.
''I have been in retail for many years and it actually reminds me of 20 to 30 years ago, when retail was busy all the time.''
She speculated the cooler weather might have had something to do with how ''frantic'' the crowds were this year, with customers also telling her the sales were better this year. Karen Mackay, of Dunedin, who was shopping with daughter Rachel Jones, of Waikouaiti, and her granddaughter Grace Mackay (14), of Dunedin, said the sales were good this year.
''Some of them are 60% off,'' she said.
''We couldn't get a car park for ages. We parked way up the top of Constitution St.''
Ms Jones said the crowds of people added to the atmosphere and made shopping more fun.
Arelene Ranger, who was shopping with her partner Paul Wolland, said she had picked up ''a bit of everything''.
Mr Wolland, who was nursing a slight hangover after Christmas Day festivities, said he was ready to go home after spending four hours shopping.
Both said they were happy with the prices of goods on offer.