Queensland

Hundreds of thousands of shoppers expected

Time-poor shoppers who’ve left knocking over their Christmas lists until the last minute will be able to shop till they drop right up until Christmas Eve 2017, after Westfield rolled out extended, state-wide trading hours.

Scentre Group Regional Manager Richard Heinz said hundreds of thousands of people would flock into Queensland’s Westfield shopping centres over the next 14 days, with a last-minute rush always on the cards for those last few days before Christmas.

“This is the busiest time of year for all our centres, so we’re opening earlier and closing later, offering more flexibility and convenience for customers to get in store at a time that suits them,” Mr Heinz said.

The National Retail Association (NRA) forecast Queensland shoppers would drop around $9.4 billion dollars in the six weeks leading up to Christmas.

More than 93 per cent of this final shopping frenzy is forecast to be instore.

“In addition to ticking off the Christmas list, we also know so many people come into our centres to experience the magic of Christmas, whether it’s to see the stunning Christmas displays, listen to choirs singing live Christmas carols, or even try their hand at a LEGO workshop,” he said.

National Retail Association (NRA) Chief Executive Dominique Lamb said consumers were out in force in 2017, taking full advantage of the growing trend toward experiential shopping.

“We are in the midst of a global shift driven by consumers who want a more personal, interactive experience, and Westfield has rolled out the red carpet when it comes to live entertainment and festive fun like antler assembly, wreath-making, table styling workshops and other special activities.

“Garden City’s Real Wishmas Tree Forest has been a hit with kids in 2017 – in the past they would line up to see Santa and his elves to have a couple of minutes to try their hand at a last minute pitch about how wonderfully well-behaved they’d been, but now they have an entire forest to wander around in, where there’s plenty of time to just soak up the magic and wonder of Christmas,” she said.

“That’s what it’s all about when you’re six!” she said.

Westfield stores right around Queensland will be opening earlier and closing later right through until December 24 2017.

Source: NRA