CAR parks are clogged and cash registers ringing as south-west shoppers log off websites and hit the pavement in search of a bargain in the annual post-Christmas sales.
Central Warrnambool traders have reported strong sales, saying the streets were the busiest they had been for some time as shoppers take advantage of discounts of up to 60 per cent off.
Long-term Liebig Street trader Max Taylor said it was reminiscent of “the good old days” before the global financial crisis.
“We had an enormous day, our figures were very strong,” Mr Taylor said of Boxing Day.
“We were down about 25 per cent earlier in the month due to the Telstra fire, but we made up that loss and have now come out well in front of last year.”
Thomas Jewellers owner Jeremy Thomas said it was the best Boxing Day the store had enjoyed since opening in Warrnambool in 2004.
“We had very strong figures which is great, it’s been a difficult year.
“People are primed for Boxing Day now and they realise how good the sales actually are and are prepared to venture out for a bargain. And in Warrnambool there are so many extra people in town for the holidays.”
On the city’s eastern fringe, Gateway Plaza traders described Boxing Day trading as “very strong” to “downright crazy”, centre manager Tony Scott said.
Mr Scott said door traffic was up on previous years and he expected the trend to continue for the remainder of the week.
“We have had a very strong December. All the traders reported strong sales in the lead-up to Christmas and door traffic each week has been continually up on last year. The car park was close to being full yesterday, which was great to see.”
Nationally, the Australian National Retail Association estimated $1.8 billion was spent on Boxing Day and predicted total spending to hit $5.7bn after the first week of sales.