Shoppers descend on tech store
JEFFERY Hickson was at work blowing up balloons by 6am yesterday morning.
The manager of the JB Hi Fi store at Stockland Rockhampton was ready for the impending stampede.
About 50 people, who were lined up outside the technology store, raced in as the "tsunami" began.
Boxing Day Sales went off with a big bang at Rockhampton's biggest shopping centre yesterday.
Parking spaces under the centre were few and far between and there were plenty of big queues at the large stores.
"We opened the doors at 9am and a big wave of people, like a sizeable tsunami, came in," Jeffery said mid-morning.
"It's going through the roof."
He estimated thousands would pass through the store during the day.
Digital televisions, computers and tablets were the big movers.
"Shoppers have been going for the televisions now everything has been upgraded to digital," Jeffery said.
"Computers are selling well too ... parents with kids going back to school have been getting really good deals.
"And the tablets, Apple's iPad Touch has been very big this Christmas."
He said the store had all 36 staff working yesterday.
It was a better pre-Christmas period than previous years.
"It was very busy before Christmas, year-on-year we were a lot busier," Jeffery said.
"People definitely were out there wanting to buy this year."
It was a similar story at other centres across Rockhampton with City Centre Plaza also fairly busy, though it was more of a sedate pace compared to Stockland.
While management at Stockland declined an opportunity to comment, City Centre Plaza Centre manager Renee Pukallus said it had been a busier pre-Christmas period for the centre based on customer "traffic".
She said the majority of stores would be open this week. Bargain hunters across Australia are tipped to spend $1.7 billion.
Queenslanders were expected to spend $325m at the Boxing Day sales and nearly $1b over the next week, the Australian National Retailers Association predicts.
Acting Premier Andrew Fraser says shoppers should remember that it's illegal for stores to refuse refunds on sale items. If products are faulty, defective or not fit for the purpose, buyers are entitled to a refund.