Shopping frenzy hits peak
BY all accounts, yesterday was the calm before the storm for Christmas shopping.
From seafood sales to last-minute gift grabbing, retailers predicted a flurry of festive shoppers taking to stores around the Valley today.
Naeco Blue Seafoods' Colin Hambly said he was preparing himself for Naeco's single highest turnover day of the year.
"The nice, sunny weather plays a major role in our sales," he said.
"People have decided to go for seafood this Christmas and stocks are good.
"We'll be looking to sell a couple of tonnes of prawns for Christmas."
Colin and his family have owned the store for 10 years, and Colin said they were hoping for one of the most successful Christmases to date.
He said school prawns had shown up in the river and crustaceans would be the best sellers today.
Crabs, lobsters, bugs and prawns will no doubt be on the top of most seafood-lovers' lists.
"I reckon they're the best river school prawns I've seen in years," he said.
Grafton Shoppingworld marketing assistant Alison Smith said things had been positive inside the centre.
"We usually get the last-minute rush, which has now well and truly kicked in," she said.
"All the stores have good sales on in the lead-up to Christmas and these will continue through to our Boxing Day sales."
More 4 Men's Tim Ellem said Prince St, Grafton, had been much the same.
"The hype and activity has been pretty good.
"People have tightened up on spending compared to last year," he said.
But the store had still met budgets set for the Christmas period and he was happy with the level of trade.
"It would be good to see a few more decorations in the main street next year," he said.