Shoppers hit Ipswich centres in search of a bargain

SHOPPERS have descended in droves on Ipswich's shopping centres in search of a post-Christmas bargain.

Across the city retailers have reported strong sales, with thousands of people hitting the stores in the past two days.

The QT visited Riverlink Shopping Centre to catch-up with shoppers navigating the packed centre in search of the lowest prices.

After the Boxing Day crowds receded, some shoppers hit the stores to mop up the remaining bargains.

On the day before they fly out to Hong Kong, Charlie and Emily Banwell braved the busy centre to pick-up some last-minute holiday essentials.

They weren't at Riverlink looking for a deal, but were keeping their eyes open.

"Sales are always in the back of your mind," Emily said.

The couple said it was not too busy at the centre on the day after Boxing Day.

"Today was okay," Emily said.

"Yesterday was terrible, we heard it was so busy down here."

 

Charlie and Emily Banwell at Riverlink Shopping Centre on Thursday.
Charlie and Emily Banwell. Rob Williams

Outside Mr Toys Toyworld, the Davis family were shopping for "everything", from clothes to laptops.

"We're just here having a look around," Adam Davis said.

The family is a touch sceptical about the quality of discounts retailers offer shoppers on the nation's busiest trading day.

"Sometimes you find a bargain but sometimes not," Adam said.

Finding a parking spot and wading through the people wasn't.

"It hasn't been too bad today," Kirsty Davis said.

"It's why we didn't come down yesterday though."

 

Alex, Adam, Kirsty and Jade Davis at Riverlink Shopping Centre.
Alex, Adam, Kirsty and Jade Davis. Rob Williams

The diligence of sharp-shoppers Peter and Julie Bertram proved there were cheap deals for those who were willing to look.

Santa didn't bring the hair trimmer Peter was after, so the couple hit the stores in search of a bargain.

"We're still looking," Julie said.

"There was one for $26 down that way but we found one for $14.95 at the chemist," Peter added.

After about ten minutes deliberating they settled on the cheaper option.

The couple didn't come in search of a bargain, simply a way to spend the day.

"We came down mainly for something to do," Julie said.

 

Peter and Julie Bertram at Riverlink Shopping Centre.
Peter and Julie Bertram at Riverlink Shopping Centre. Rob Williams

Riverlink Shopping Centre marketing assistant Rachel McCabe said the centre wasn't as busy as it was before January 25.

"We're definitely seeing a drop in customers since before Christmas," she said.

"That's normal.

"We'll get back to school when people will start shopping again at the start of January."

Kerry Adams visited the region's biggest shopping centre to test whether the post-Christmas sales really were that good.

"We haven't come here for anything particularly," she said.

"We look at prices in the year and during the sales.

"I've found prices are often dearer during the sales."

At Orion Shopping Centre thousands of people were wandering the centre for the sales.

Cars were backed up around Orion Lagoon as shoppers hit the stores and the water to escape the heat.

Across the nation Aussie bargain hunters streamed into shops on Boxing Day for a projected $2.5 billion splurge on sales.

It was the biggest trading day of the year and marks the start of the traditional sales period in which customers will shell out over $18 billion from Boxing Day to January 15, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) said.

ARA and Roy Morgan predicted a 3.1 per cent increase in post-Christmas sales, with shoppers spending more than of $2.5 billion this Boxing Day both in-store and online.

In the days leading up to Christmas Prime Minister Scott Morrison urged people to spend big and help kick-along the retail sector.

At C.J Vogler and Sons Hobby shop on Brisbane St felt some of that kick.

Val Vogler said Christmas was a decent one for the city's oldest family-owned business.

"It wasn't like the Christmases we used to have," she said.

"It was good though, it was busy."

A handful of shoppers were inside the Brisbane St store yesterday; the first day of trading since Christmas.

"Everyone is going over to the main stores," Val said.