BOXING Day sales got off to a slow start in Ballarat yesterday but picked up to a steady pace by early afternoon.
Unlike Melbourne, where shoppers lined up outside major retail stores from 6.30am, only a few shoppers were out and about searching for bargains at Ballarat’s main shopping centres at 9am.
However, retail outlets such as JB Hi Fi had customers lined up 10 deep at their counter by lunchtime as people emerged from their post-Christmas Day haze.
Sanity Wendouree’s Mardi Kiefer said they had been as busy as usual.
“We’ve been pretty constant all day,” Ms Kiefer said.
A spokesperson for Rockmans Central Square said they had also been very busy.
“It’s been going really well,” she said.
Both stores also said they didn’t feel they had been affected by an increase in online sales, with Dick Smith, Myer and David Jones all launching their online bargains early this year.
Major retail stores were unable to comment on local spending figures yesterday and their head offices were closed due to the public holiday.
The Australian National Retailers Association predicted Victorian shoppers spent about $588 million yesterday, more than any other state.
State Consumer Affairs Minister Michael O’Brien yesterday also reminded shoppers discounted or sales items were covered in the same way as full priced goods.
“Businesses cannot tell consumers they have no refund or other shopping rights simply because the item is on sale,” Mr O’Brien said.
Consumer Affairs Victoria MyShopRights smartphone app provides information about refund and other shopping rights for consumers and businesses, as well as storing receipt copies for refunds and warranties.