POLL: 70,000 expected at Charlestown Square tomorrow

KEEN shoppers are expected to hit the Hunter’s retail  centres tomorrow  as the traditional post-Christmas discounts arrive.

Staff began re-tagging items on Christmas Eve ahead of the sales, which are expected to bring significant savings on a range of items, including electronics, toys and homewares.

Charlestown Square general manager Martin Howes said more than 70,000 people were expected to flood into the centre tomorrow.

‘‘It’s our single biggest day of the year,’’ Mr Howes said.

He  said gadgets, bodyboards, Lego, gift cards and pamper packages had proven popular  during the festive  season.

At Westfield Kotara, a similar scene is predicted.

‘‘We’re expecting some pretty strong crowds,’’  centre manager Ryan Burns said.

‘‘The retailers are already in sale mode [from Christmas] but they’re stepping up a gear ... customers will benefit, which is great.’’

Stockland spokeswoman Lucy Wilson said all four Hunter centres  would be open with ‘‘fantastic post-Christmas sales’’ when trade resumed tomorrow.

The Australian National Retailers Association estimated that Australians spent just over $2billion on Christmas Eve, with an expected $32billion spent on gifts over the Christmas period.

Association chief executive Margy Osmond said retailers were hoping for more interest rate cuts in the first part of 2013 to stimulate spending in what is traditionally the softest part of the retail year.

She said prices were already low due to pre-Christmas discounting.

‘‘But that doesn’t mean you won’t be getting even huger benefits [just after Christmas],’’ she said. 

Ms Osmond said retailers noted a late surge in shopping this Christmas, put down to a weekend lead-up to Christmas Day.  with AAP

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