Hinkler Central’s Elysia Billingham among the Christmas shoppers in the centre.
Hinkler Central’s Elysia Billingham among the Christmas shoppers in the centre. Mike Knott

Shoppers flock to buy final gifts

WITH just 10 sleeps left until Santa Claus comes to town, Bundaberg residents are feeling the pressure, flocking to the shops in large numbers to buy last-minute gifts.

Cavanagh's Bag Store owner Pauline Melville said the CBD rush began last week with people keen to finish their Christmas shopping.

"It was very quiet up until a week ago and then it got busier," Mrs Melville said.

"Before that we had a lot of lookers and a lot of them are coming back now to buy."

She said that in years gone by, the Christmas rush would last for most of December, but that practice had changed with the advent of online shopping.

"I hope local people will support their local businesses," Mrs Melville said.

While December in the CBD got off to a slow start, the situation at Hinkler Central and Sugarland Shoppingtown has been very different, with the rush starting last month.

"We've definitely noticed people starting their Christmas shopping a bit earlier this year," Sugarland marketing executive Katey Young said.

"The rush started here in early to mid-November."

Ms Young said to help accommodate peak shopping times, the centre's trading hours had been extended.

"It helps out all the people looking for last-minute gifts," she said.

"It makes it easier with our busy lifestyles."

Hinkler Central marketing manager Elysia Billingham said the centre had been busy in the lead-up to Christmas.

"It has been a very big month - traffic is certainly up," she said.

Ms Billingham said trading hours had also been extended at Hinkler.

"I think it helps people, particularly the ones who work through the day."



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