While their Shellharbour compatriots may have received a day’s head start in the rush to capture the post-Christmas shopping dollar, Wollongong retailers are promising customers there will be bargains aplenty when sales kick off in the city on Thursday.
Wollongong Central will throw open its doors at 8am for a mammoth 13 hours of trading, with thousands of customers expected to flood into the CBD to take advantage of cut-price fashion, shoes, jewellery, furniture, electronics and entertainment.
This year’s post-Christmas sale period will be the sixth for Williams Shoes employee Tracey Clayton, who expects crowd numbers to peak around mid-morning.
‘‘The first day we open it’s crazy,’’ she said.
‘‘We get lots of returns, but we also have heaps of people who are after bargains and some who get gift cards they want to spend. Many people want to find shoes to wear for New Year’s Eve.’’
Ms Clayton is also expecting early-bird school shoe requests today.
‘‘Some people go away for all of January so they want to get school shoes before they go,’’ she said.
Wollongong Central centre manager Dean Young said for many stores it was a case of ‘‘all hands on deck’’ to meet shopper demand.
‘‘December 27 is our best day of the year,’’ he said.
‘‘We generally get about 250,000 visits to the centre between Christmas and New Year.’’
Mr Young said shoppers could expect discounts of up to 70 per cent in some stores.
(Target 8am-midnight, Big W 7am-midnight)