Tens of thousands of South Australians and holidaying tourists have flocked to suburban retailers right across the city today to bag a Boxing Day bargain, in a ‘huge show of support’ for the Marshall Liberal Government’s push for shop trading hours reform.
From Tea Tree Gully and Marion to Elizabeth, Noarlunga and Port Adelaide, crowds queued from the early hours of the morning to be among the first through shopping centre doors to take part in the post-Christmas sales frenzy.
There were similar scenes in Rundle Mall with a rush on clothing and footwear, cosmetics, electrical and electronic goods as well as reduced price Christmas decorations.
This year marks only the second time in history that all suburban retailers have had the opportunity to open their doors on the Boxing Day public holiday, after Acting Premier Rob Lucas granted a special Ministerial exemption under the Shop Trading Hours Act 1977 to allow them to trade.
Mr Lucas said there had been strong demand from consumers and retailers and followed the huge success of last year’s historic Boxing Day trade which saw suburban retail sales almost treble (an increase of 192%) those of the public holiday the year before.
“Once again, South Australians have voted with their feet in favour of greater freedom of choice in shop trading,’’ said Acting Premier Lucas.
“Today, we’ve seen tens of thousands of South Australians as well as interstate and international tourists turn out in force right across the city and suburbs to take part in the Boxing Day sales.
“Instead of having to come into the city, they’ve had the option of being able to shop closer to home – giving them greater flexibility while at the same time boosting the economy and local jobs opportunities right across the suburbs.
“This should send a very clear message to the Shoppies’ union and their mates in the Labor party, led by former union boss Peter Malinauskas, that people are genuinely crying out for change.
“If Mr Malinauskas and the union bosses had their way, suburban retailers’ doors would have remained firmly shut today and South Australians would be denied the freedom of choice that their interstate counterparts so happily enjoy.
“In contrast, we’ve said all along, if traders want to trade, consumers want to shop and employees are willing and able to work, why should our silly shop trading laws stop them?”