Shopping at Harveys Jewellers.
Shopping at Harveys Jewellers.

Valley Christmas spend contributes

DESPITE reports of global economic downturn and interest rate rises, Australians still managed to spend about $36.5 billion in the six weeks leading up to Christmas.

This means that on average each Australian spent just over $1700 to top up Santa’s sack.

Gaming shops went crazy in the lead-up to Christmas. The Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS consoles seemed to be on top of almost everyone’s wish list.

Electronics and homewares shops, on the other hand, experienced a slower lead-up to Christmas than last year. Harvey Norman and Cummings RetraVision reported that while their sales were slightly higher than normal trade, last year’s Christmas lead-up was far bigger.

John Stewart, the electrical franchisee of Harvey Norman in Grafton, said that his pre- Christmas sales were good, but not great.

“Sales were a little up on last year but due to the stronger Aussie dollar we actually had to sell more stock to achieve that,” he said.

Marcel Koning, of Cummings RetraVision, said this year’s Christmas trade was a little unpredictable with busy patches coming and going.

“Last year’s Christmas period was far busier and I think that had something to do with the Government’s 2008 stimulus package,” he said.

People of the Clarence Valley have also managed to remember their furry and feathered friends this year.

Pat Keenan, of Fish Scales and Furry Tails in Grafton, experienced an increase in his trade a few days before Santa arrived.

“The 23rd was a huge day for us but we have been trading fairly well since we moved into the new shop,” he said.

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