Retail sales boom for Coffs Coast

COFFS Coast shoppers have spent, spent and spent some more, smashing retailers' expectations of a gloomy January shopping period and helping to pour more than $6 billion into the economy.

Centro Toormina marketing manager, Kylie Sagar, said the centre received a surge in spending during the post-Christmas period, with sales more than doubling on last year's figures.

“We had the strongest result for January in the centre's history, with traffic up almost 30 per cent on last year and sales exceeding our expectations,” Ms Sagar said.

“We have a number of retailers who are outperforming their own stores in the region, and retail is strong on the Coffs Coast thanks to our substantial population and the tourist trade.”

Park Beach Plaza marketing manager, Caroline Bleechmore, said while January figures have not yet been released, the centre had a strong trading period in what is traditionally a quiet time for consumers.

“Traffic figures for the centre were in line with January 2008, and retailer feedback has been excellent,” Ms Bleechmore said.

She said a strong tourism season and stunning weather all added to the excellent result.

Australian Retailers' Association executive director, Richard Evans, said shoppers exceeded retailers' expectations during post Christmas sales by spending $6.5 billion across Australian stores between Boxing Day and the end of January.

Mr Evans attributed the higher than expected figure to retailers offering generous sales of up to 70 per cent off stock. “With heavy discounting taking place, the volume of sales was in fact much greater than previous years and to date many retailers are continuing to slash prices to move stock before winter,” Mr Evans said.

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