Retail therapy cures Christmas inertia

THE promise of bargains lured shoppers out of their festive season hangovers and into Warrnambool’s central business district yesterday. 

With many retailers promising discounts of more than 50 per cent, Liebig Street was a hive of activity all day as shoppers came to spend gift vouchers and cash. 

Mix Fashion Boutique manager Alison Ratu said there had been a steady stream of customers through the door since opening at 10am. 

“It’s been flat out today,” she said. “There have been people in here since we opened. 

“People seem to be out spending their Christmas money and looking for a few bargains. 

“In the leadup to Christmas we sold heaps of vouchers, but we haven’t had many come back yet. People seem to be mainly spending cash.” 

She said dresses, shorts and T-shirts were popular items. 

Mrs Ratu said the Boxing Day rush had capped off a great Christmas season and she was hopeful of strong summer trade. 

“The week leading up to Christmas this year was definitely bigger and better than last year,” she said. “Other retailers have been saying the same thing, which is great to hear. 

“The street has been so busy today, which is really positive. There are a lot of tourists in town so hopefully that’s a good indication for the summer.”

Clancey Brothers Menswear also reported strong sales, as did chain stores Target and Kathmandu. 

Gateway Plaza, on the city’s eastern fringe, was also busy, with shoppers rushing into Kmart and other speciality stores. 

Nationally, shoppers were expected to spend $1.9 billion yesterday, a 5.5 per cent rise on last year. 

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