D-Day for retailers
TODAY is D-day for both shoppers and businesses, as last-minute Christmas Eve trade aims to boost the end of what has been a regrettable 2011 for retail.
As the United Retail Federation warns of hundreds of job losses in Queensland's retail sector on the back of one of the toughest years for trade, Bundaberg shop owners reported a mixed bag in the lead-up to Christmas this year.
Some retailers said they were thrilled with Christmas trading and noticed shoppers were spending more, while others struggled to meet last year's budgets and reported consumers being a lot more frugal.
At Hinkler Central Shopping Centre, Mystique Jewellers manager Sharon Dobson said the store had seen a downturn in trade compared to last year.
"People aren't spending as much as they were last year," she said.
Ms Dobson said the shopping frenzy had kicked off properly about a week previously.
At the other side of the centre, gift store Australian Country Living had seen some big improvements.
"We are just taking a bit more each day according to our daily totals," manager Kristen Stout said.
Ms Stout said the store was pleased to have broken last year's figures and continued to hope for a strong December overall.
Hinkler Central Shopping Centre marketing manager Elysia Billingham said the centre had been packed from open to close for the past three days.
At Sugarland Shoppingtown, Hitchcock's Fine Jewellery has been doing a roaring trade.
Owner Jan Paulsen said the store had been opening for longer than planned to cope with the demand.
"I'm not usually a fan of extended hours, but this year it has been worth it," she said.
Mrs Paulsen said a bumper Christmas season was needed at the store after a poor year.
Sugarland Shoppingtown marketing executive Katey Young said traffic in the centre had been up considerably compared to last year.
In the centre of town, Nature's Emporium owner Chris Dimes said he had also recorded a busier Christmas period as trade in the CBD remained healthy.
"This week has been nuts," he said.
"We are about on par with last year."