Bendigo retailers report strong sales

BENDIGO retailers’ tills are jingling in the lead-up to Christmas.

Businesses are also gearing up for a hectic weekend, as last minute shoppers try to find stocking fillers and the perfect present for special someones.

Bendigo Marketplace marketing manager Danielle Downs said the centre had been very busy in the lead-up to Christmas.

“Overall we’re really happy with how the centre’s trading,” she said.

“It has increased as Christmas got closer.

“People seem to leave their Christmas shopping until later, so we are expecting a very busy weekend.”

Ms Downs said gift card sales had really peaked this week as people try to find something for the hard-to-buy-for. 

Bendigo’s Target store has also reported increased foot traffic in the past week.

Target Bendigo selling support manager Kristy Fitzgerald said lots of visitors were expected in the store over the weekend.

“Over the past week our customers have started to get into the swing of Christmas shopping,” Ms Fitzgerald said. 

“We expect it will be extremely busy this weekend and on Monday as people are out and about 

getting their last-minute presents.”

Ms Fitzgerald said ’90s toys such as Furbys, Fisher Price, Lego and Barbie had experienced a resurgence this year.

“Everything old is new again at Target this year,” she said.

Many stores across Bendigo will have extended hours this weekend and on Monday. 

Homewares fly out the door

KNIFE blocks, Christmas snow globes and anything Justin Bieber are the pick of the Christmas gifts this year, according to Bendigo Marketplace retailers.

House owners Steve and Julie Guild said coffee makers, knife blocks, cheese platters and punch sets were flying out the door as the number of days left to shop for presents before Christmas dwindles.

The busy homewares shop has already sold out of whisky steins and fruit and vegetable choppers as Christmas shoppers look for the perfect gift for their families.

Pharmasave store manager Tim Williams said perfumes were always a popular gift for men and women. He said men could expect to find Keith Urban Phoenix and Dolce and Gabbana perfume in their stockings.

Classic scents reigned supreme for women, such as Jean Paul Gaultier Classique and Gucci Guilty.

But there was only one fragrance for the younger girls – Justin Bieber Girlfriend.

“We couldn’t keep up with his fragrance Someday last year and it’s the same this year,” Mr Williams said.

Wild Cards and Gifts owner Debbie Gwilliam said Christmas items were selling well, especially Christmas snow globes.

She said vintage wall art, and decorative jewellery-holding trees were also popular gifts.

Ms Gwilliam said that after a slow start, the business had been frantic heading into Christmas.

“The last couple of weeks we’ve got increasingly more busy, this week especially,” she said. 

“We had a slow start to November so we are assuming people have left it to the last minute. We expect to be very busy this weekend.”

Mr Williams agreed that the Marketplace would be filled with late-minute shoppers this weekend.

“Most people will take Monday off so this weekend is going to be pretty crazy.” 

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