Record num­bers at­tend Box­ing Day sales

Townsville Bulletin - - Front Page -

AUS­TRALIANS started an $8 bil­lion post-Christ­mas spend­ing spree in record num­bers yes­ter­day as ex­tra se­cu­rity stepped in to han­dle bar­gain­hun­gry shop­pers across the coun­try.

Undeterred by in­ter­est rate rises or fes­tive spend­ing, shop­per num­bers on the first day of the post-Christ­mas sales were into the hun­dreds of thou­sands in Syd­ney and Melbourne — the high­est lev­els ever re­ported by re­tail­ers.

Bumper crowds were also re­ported in Bris­bane.

Aus­tralian Na­tional Re­tail­ers As­so­ci­a­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Margy Os­mond said spend­ing in the pre and post-Christ­mas pe­riod was ex­pected to reach $33 bil­lion na­tion­ally, up $3 bil­lion from last year.

Ms Os­mond said con­sumers would spend $8bil­lion in the next fort­night. In Syd­ney, Myer’s Pitt St Mall store was forced to shut its doors to the pub­lic for half an hour just af­ter noon to stop record crowds get­ting in.

Fewer than 1000 shop­pers queued up out­side David Jones and Myer when doors opened at 7am but by lunchtime, hun­dreds of thou­sands of con­sumers crammed into Pitt St Mall.

Po­lice and se­cu­rity guards were sta­tioned out­side the store to con­trol ag­gres­sive shop­pers try­ing to push their way in.

Myer spokesman Nick Ab­boud said he was ex­pect­ing about 200,000 shop­pers to pass through the Syd­ney store by the end of the day. David Jones spokesman Paul Zahra said it was an­tic­i­pat­ing the same num­bers.

In Melbourne, about 5000 shop­pers were through the doors of Melbourne’s shop­ping mecca at Chad­stone by 8am, a record for that time of morn­ing on Box­ing Day.

Po­lice had to close the Mid­dle Road en­trance to the shop­ping cen­tre carpark for about 15 min­utes at 11.30am.

De­signer shoes and bags were among the most pop­u­lar items at David Jones in Bourke St in Melbourne’s CBD.

Store man­ager Ja­son McVicar said cus­tomers were lin­ing up at 5.30am be­fore Aus­tralian singer/ac­tor Holly Valance rang a bell to sig­nal the open­ing of trad­ing at 7am.

‘‘They went straight to women’s shoes, and na­tion­ally we will sell about 200,000 pairs of women’s shoes over our clear­ance,’’ Mr McVicar said.

The scenes were repli­cated in Bris­bane, where ea­ger shop­pers lined up out­side stores at 9am.

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