Boxing Day shoppers pack punch for region

Boxing Day shoppers pack punch for region

Boxing Day shoppers pack punch for region Boxing Day sales: Kim Humphries, Jessica Quist, Rita Jones and Lisa Kearney at Charlestown Square. Picture: Jonathan Carroll
Nanjing Night Net

Boxing Day sales: Annie Neenan and Meg Gallagher at Charlestown Square. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Boxing Day sales: Tien, Trang, Thu and Ni Nguyen at Charlestown Square. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Boxing Day sales: Melissa Brennan and David Battisson at Charlestown Square. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Boxing Day sales: Jenni White at Charlestown Square. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Boxing Day sales at Charlestown Square. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Boxing Day sales at Charlestown Square. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Boxing Day sales at Charlestown Square. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Boxing Day sales at Charlestown Square. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Boxing Day sales at Charlestown Square. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

TweetFacebookFOR RITA Jones, bargain-hunting at the Boxing Day sales isas much a Christmas tradition as sharing a meal with family and giving gifts to loved ones.

“It’s a day out for us –it’s about getting together and having lunch,” said Ms Jones, who was joined by her daughters Kim Humphries and Lisa Kearney and grandaughter Jessica Quist, who is 15 weeks pregnant.

“And if something is a good bargain, then I’ll buy it.”

The Lake Macquarie family used to have to wait to December 27 to splash their cash, beforethe state government held a two-year trial allowing retailersin suburban and regional NSW to trade on December 26.

The government passed laws in September this year making Boxing Day trade permanent across the state.

The quartet arrived at Charlestown Square at 8am and soon filled a trolley with items including a Christmas wreath that was half price at $50, Skechers shoes that were originally $169 but snapped up for$39 and Dusk candles for $4.

Kim Humphries said it was important after spending so much time shopping for others to treat yourself.

“It means you can get whatever you want and feel like on the day,” she said, while her daughter Jessica Quist said she enjoyed “the rush of getting a good deal”.

Ms Humphriessearched online for a Fitbit, but found one for $189 at JB Hi Fi, $10 cheaper than anywhere else.

She brought $300 cash and left her credit cards at home, while her sister Lisa Kearney –who had received a text message from her husband saying ‘It’s not cheap if you don’t need it’ –said she was prepared to push on until “we feel we’ve had enough”.

Meanwhile, Singleton sisters Tien, Trang, Thu and Ni Nguyen were expecting to depletetheir individual $1000 budgets.

“We’ve bought from about 12 shops, then will eat, put this in the car and keep going,” Thu said.“It’s better than online because you can try things on and get it straight away.”

Charlestown Square general manager DwightHodgetts said more than 60,000 people visited the centre on Tuesday, second only to the roughly 87,000 who attended on Thursdaywhen it was open to midnight.

He said the carpark was already 50 per cent full at 8am on what becamethe centre’s biggest Boxing Day of the past three years.

“A lot of stores will stay on sale for the next two weeks so we’ll see very high traffic through to mid January,” he said.

Westfield Kotaracentre managerKate Murphy said one of the centre’s “biggest shopping days of the year” had included “great discounts from brands for the official launch of the sales season, with queues of people outside stores such as David Jones, Mimco, Lush, JB-HiFi and Pandora”.

The National Retail Association said shoppers were expected to spend $2.36 billion on Boxing Day, up three per cent on 2016.