Out shopping during Boxing Day sales, Jed Lamech, 11, and his father Joe, found the ideal location for a lesson in math and, perhaps, a lesson in life.
With $90 of Christmas money to spend, Jed was looking for the big discounts among the crowds of people at Charlestown Square on Wednesday.
“What we want is value for money. So we are doing a lot of counting and asking whether it is a good deal,” Mr Lamech said.
“I’m also trying to teach patience. So if it’s not on sale now, we can get it later.”
By midday, the pair from Canberra said they had not found the bargains they were hoping for, and the Lego set Jed wanted had sold out.
“There wasn’t too much,” Jed said.
“Rebel Sports had some good deals.”
“And there was a really good deal on bobbleheads,” Mr Lamech said.
Bargain hunters had already descended on Charlestown Square and Westfield Kotara by 8am on Wednesday morning.
Sarah Sylvester, the centre manager of Westfield Kotara, said there were “hundreds” of people in the shopping complex before stores opened.
Queues had formed outside Zara and Lush by 7.45am, she said, and people were finalising purchases at David Jones by 8am.
Dwight Hodgetts, the manager of Charlestown Square, said he was expecting between 70,000 and 80,000 people to come through the centre’s doors on Boxing Day.
By midday the shopping complex was packed.
“It’s not the biggest trading day for numbers. Our biggest day is prior to Christmas, probably last Thursday when we traded till midnight.
“But people come today in a more compressed time frame,” he said.
Emma Salmon and Rycileille Sunzu of Fletcher, both 15, had their arms full of new clothes by lunchtime, including three shirts they bought for $12.
“The sales are really good this time of year,” Emma said.
Ray King, also at Charlestown, said he found the crowds bearable.
“I am from Sydney, so this is a lot better than what goes on down there,” he said.
At Kotara, Ava-Grace Stynes of Nelson Bay was shopping with her own money for the first time.
Her mother, Anne-Marie Stynes, said the eight-year-old found “everything” more costly than she expected.
“I like it because I get to spend my own money on what I want,” Ava-Grace said.
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