Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - Alison Bald­ing

SAVVY shop­pers will be the big win­ners this Box­ing Day when stores across Mt Druitt and St Marys open for the first time.

Rather than drive more than 60km and fight the crowds in the city, peo­ple will have the op­por­tu­nity to shop lo­cally af­ter the Gov­ern­ment al­lowed shops to open on the once-sa­cred pub­lic hol­i­day.

While many busi­ness own­ers are still de­cid­ing whether to open, big depart­ment stores and smaller spe­cialty shops across the area will definitely be trad­ing.

SHOP­PERS are the big win­ners this Box­ing Day when shops in Mt Druitt and St Marys will open for the first time.

The State Gov­ern­ment has in­tro­duced leg­is­la­tion al­low­ing stores across Sydney to open.

In pre­vi­ous years, only CBD and Bondi Junc­tion shops could open, fu­elling the tra­di­tional Box­ing Day crush in the city out­side Myer and David Jones.

Mt Druitt Cham­ber of Commerce pres­i­dent Reg Mur­ray said the change would give strug­gling small busi­nesses the op­por­tu­nity to take ad­van­tage of the high de­mand from shop­pers.

“Thou­sands travel into the city to spend their money on the Box­ing Day sales. This gives lo­cal busi­nesses the op­por­tu­nity to keep some of that money here,” Mr Mur­ray said. “There is noth­ing wrong with that. I think most busi­nesses will open.”

How­ever, St Marys Town Cen­tre man­ager Paulette Adams said Christ­mas was a time to spend with fam­ily.

“I feel there is enough time through­out the year to shop,” Ms Adams said.

She said the de­ci­sion to open would come down to each busi­ness.

“I’ve spo­ken to quite a few busi­nesses in Queen St who will be tak­ing some time off over the break to spend with their loved ones, so I’m not ex­pect­ing a lot of trade on the day.” The post-Christ­mas shop­ping frenzy is tipped to break all records this year.

With shops all over Sydney open, the tills across the state are tipped to ring up a $700 mil­lion in just one day.

Across the coun­try, shopa­holics will splurge more than $2 bil­lion.

Large crowds are expe- cted at shop­ping com­plexes across Sydney, open for the first time for the sales.

They in­clude Westfield Mt Druitt, open from 8am, with of­fers to en­tice cus­tomers, such as the prom­ise of a $20 Westfield gift card for shop­pers who spend $150 or more in spe­cial­ity stores.

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