Blenheim bargain hunters spent a whopping eight million dollars in just one weekend, cashing in on annual mega sales.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday proved a popular draw as consumers made the most of marked down prices.
Figures from Eftpos payment provider Paymark show spending across the country rose by more than 40 per cent compared to a weekend without the widespread sales.
And the shopping holiday appears to be catching on in the region, with spending up 10 per cent on last year’s discount deals.
No. 4 Boutique manager Cheri Baker says the eagerly awaited shopping event saw foot traffic in the town centre soar.
“It was definitely busier than any other weekend,” she says.
“It’s great for customers that want to get in and do some early pre-Christmas shopping.”
Cheri says new developments on the outskirts of town haven’t affected their business.
“We’ve just shifted and the foot traffic on Market Street was very busy.
“The fashion hub for Blenheim is Market Street, developments out of town don’t affect us.
“It’s nice to keep that niche in the town centre,” Cheri says.
Paymark spokesman Paul Brislen says Kiwi’s were simply keen to shop.
“Besides strong sales-driven Black Friday activity in shops, there were also strong increases in spending through supermarkets, hairdressers and internet service providers,” he says.
But Blenheim Dive Centre owner Bryan Bailey says the effect of the Black Friday frenzy on his business is “tricky” to gauge.
“We’re a destination shop and it’s our busy season anyway,” he says.
“I think some people may have used it as a tool for pre-Christmas shopping, but it’s our busiest time in terms of retail.
Paul says the last seven days before Christmas are traditionally the busiest shopping days of the year – busier than Black Friday and Boxing Day.
“There are likely to be three very busy shopping days this year, based on the pattern of 2013 when Christmas Day was last on a Wednesday, with possibly Christmas Eve pipping the Friday and Monday before as the busiest day.