Bus­tle for hol­i­day bar­gains

Post-Christ­mas sales up, but pun­ters still di­vided on hol­i­day trad­ing

Townsville Bulletin - - Front Page - By JES­SICA JOHN­STON

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.

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