Bustle for holiday bargains
Post-Christmas sales up, but punters still divided on holiday trading
TOWNSVILLE shoppers missed out on bagging a Boxing Day bargain as major shopping centres kept the closed signs out yesterday.
While Boxing Day sales are as traditional as turkey and ham to southern shoppers, Townsville residents were shut out.
Stockland Townsville, Castletown Shoppingworld, Willows Shoppingtown, Centro and stores in the CBD will reopen today.
A handful of retailers operating outside the major centres were open for Boxing Day trade including Bunnings Warehouse, Autobarn and Toyworld.
And those who chose to open reaped the rewards.
Autobarn Townsville floor manager David Gregory said there had been a constant stream of customers through the store after they opened at 8.30am.
‘‘It’s been absolute mayhem,’’ Mr Gregory said.
‘‘We have our 20 per cent off sale so that’s probably driving people to spend whatever money they have left, or what money they got for Christmas.’’
Mr Gregory said Autobarn opened every Boxing Day, which was justified when looking at the numbers of people through.
‘‘It’s probably a bit rough on the workers, but let’s put it this way, the places that aren’t open are definitely missing out.’’
And the car park at the Woolcock Centre was choc-a-block as shoppers took advantage of the open signs.
Toyworld Townsville owner John Mendo said staff were ‘running’ for the five hours they were open yesterday.
Mr Mendo said there had hardly been any returns, and people were flocking to the shops to stock up on discounted goods.
‘‘People are definitely coming for the discounts, a lot of the kids got money for Christmas, so they’re coming in to spend that,’’ Mr Mendo said.
‘‘People are taking advantage of the sales.’’
Mr Mendo said other storeholders at the Woolcock St centre had a g r e e d t o o p e n , i n c l u d i n g Sportscene and the Warehouse, and it paid off for all.
‘‘We do help one another and feed off each other. If one has a sale or a catalogue out, we all get a bit more increased traffic through.’’
Queensland Retail Traders and Shopkeepers Association executive director Ian Baldock said Townsville traders could not be forced into opening against their will.
Mr Baldock said the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission set trading hours, but traders could request an appeal if they wanted them changed.
‘‘The members can request to make an appeal to the commission which is very similar to a court case, both sides are heard.
‘‘None of our Townsville traders have made that suggestion to us.
‘‘It depends on if there is sufficient call for it, as to if any organisation would be willing to make an application. It can be very costly and time consuming.’’
Mr Baldock said very few places in Queensland were open on Boxing Day. ‘‘If you take away areas in the south-east corner who trade on Boxing Day, the numbers would be minimal. ‘‘Cairns might be the only one.’’ But North Queensland Consumers Association president Ken Kipping said he didn’t believe Townsville consumers were missing out by having to wait a day.