Boxing Day sales lure shoppers amid COVID Omicron outbreak | The Canberra Times

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The threat of the Omicron outbreak couldn’t keep keen bargain hunters at home on Boxing Day. With stores only allowing a limited number of people in at one time, some shoppers got to their favourite stores well before opening time on Sunday to make sure they had the first pick of the merchandise. At the Canberra Outlet Centre, the longest line by far was for the Nike store. The first person in line arrived before 7am and by the time the store opened at 8.30am the queue snaked around the centre. Nina Blakey and her daughter, Isabelle, 19, and son Malcolm, 10, refined their shopping strategy as they waited in line to get their discounted Nike shoes. The Queanbeyan family rose early to get to the centre without having breakfast to get to the store before the masses. “This is probably my seventh year doing this and we’ve always been up at the front and we’ve always come half an hour to an hour before [the Nike store opens]. But this is the furthest we’ve ever been back [in the queue],” Mrs Blakey said. Malcolm was hoping to spend his Christmas money on some new shoes for school while Isabelle was planning to get a pair for work. Tommy Hilfiger, Peter Alexander and Champion were next on the hit list. “It’s one time a year when you can go and get everything you want and then wear them for a year and come back [next year],” Malcolm said. The family decided if the crowds got too overwhelming they would head straight home to reduce the risk of contracting COVID. Meanwhile, at the Canberra Centre the glittering Christmas trees greeted a steady stream of masked shoppers looking for deep discounts. Jade Harrop had some Christmas gift money to spend on some new clothes and decided to brave the crowds while maintaining good hygiene and social-distancing. The floral styles this season had particularly caught her eye. Jason Bobbin and his daughters Tabitha, 10, and Amelia, 14, found some new phone cases to protect their devices in Typo. Amelia was also hoping to find a new backpack for the start of the new school year. READ MORE: Patrick Heng was mulling over the specifications of a new Apple laptop. “It’s quite good because they provide a special price for students,” he said. It was his first time shopping in the Boxing Day sales with fellow international students from Cambodia. They said it was very difficult spending the holiday period in a foreign country away from their families. Friends of 21 years Radmila Gorgoska and Izabelle Ritchie got to the Canberra Centre at 9:30am on the hunt for everything from make-up to sleepwear and video games. “Just a bit of everywhere. I had my eye on something in Zara and I think I’m heading to Peter Alexander next to get some pjs,” Ms Gorgoska said. The pair saved up a bit of money during the recent lockdown and were ready for some retail therapy, despite the ongoing outbreak. Checking in, wearing masks and vaccinations gave them some confidence to go out to the shops. “We’ve got to live our life. We’ve got to get out in public sometime,” Ms Ritchie said. Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:


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