BRIDGE Mall traders were thanking the heavens for finally shining on them on the last weekend before Christmas as last minute shoppers descended on Ballarat’s central business district.
Shoppers packed into the Mall over the weekend, taking advantage of late night shopping on Friday night and a market on Saturday so locals could grab that special and unique gift for their loved ones.
Owner of Wen and Ware, Wen McLachlan said the Mall offered something different to shoppers that didn’t want to usual gifts you can buy at any of the big chain stores.
“It’s been booming,” she said. “There’s always people coming in who love that personal service that we can offer.
“We have unique gifts that you can’t find anywhere else, it’s more about the experience and it’s just the same at our other two stores as well in Glenferrie Road Malvern and Pakington Street Geelong.
Ms McLachlan said Wen and Ware would sell out of all its Christmas decorations in the lead up to Christmas as it struggled to keep up with demand.
She said the experience of shopping at the Mall could not be replicated at other big centres around the city.
Owner of Inhabit Kitchen and Giftware Paige Fawcus said trade had picked up in the past few days, but admitted the poor weather had played a tough hand this year.
“What people have been telling us is that Wendouree is absolutely packed and they can’t get a park around there, so people have been coming into see us,” she said.
“We’ve done quite well, in no way are we trending downward and you just have to look around today, there’s heaps of people doing the last minute shopping, we’re incredibly busy.”
Jeanette and John Meek who were looking after a market stall on behalf of Ruth’s Nursery said shoppers had been busy buying up flowers for the big day.
“It’s not as busy as Mother’s Day, but there’s been a lot of business,” Mrs Meek said.
“With flowers people tend to come in and do their shopping, and then what they have left, they see us and come over and buy something extra and special to take home or for presents.
“It’s been quite constant and there are still lots of people around now.”
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