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Last-minute gift rush to top off strong sales

CHRISTMAS CHEER: Steph Baker and Amity Litfin have their shopping all wrapped up at Riverlink.
CHRISTMAS CHEER: Steph Baker and Amity Litfin have their shopping all wrapped up at Riverlink. Rob Williams

IPSWICH retailers are gearing up for the three busiest shopping days of the year, as the last-minute Christmas shopping rush to grab gifts begins.

The Australian Retailers Association predicts 29% of shoppers will leave their gift-buying to this weekend.

Shopping centres around Ipswich have experienced a strong Christmas trading period so far.

Electronic gifts continue to be popular as well as traditional children's toys of Lego, skateboards and dolls.

Riverlink marketing manager Robyn Bannister-Tyrell said the interest rate cuts could prove to be the boost the retail industry needed.

"It is looking good with plenty of people already being seen with full trolleys and shopping bags," she said. "Retailers are very optimistic.

"Electronic gifts will be popular of course. There are so many great 'gadgets' and accessories on the market now. But having said that, books are always popular and pool toys will be sought after - particularly if this heat continues."

Redbank Plaza marketing manager Yasmin Chrzescijanski said electronics were the pick of the presents.

"Already it is clear what some of this year's top requests will be, with electronic toys at the top of the list," she said.

"Technology-savvy kids are asking for mobile phones and DSi, handheld gaming consoles, along with the ambitious requests for iPhone 5s, iPads and the new Playstation Portable, a shift from the iPod requests of years past."

"Apart from the electronic gizmos, I have also seen resurgence in requests for skate boards and bikes this year. It's been a while since they were on the wish lists, Santa said."

Ms Chrzescijanski said Barbie was as popular, with requests for Lalaloopsy dolls as well.

Orion Springfield Town Centre manager Melanie Hodge said: "Kids are nuts for Lego this year and Big W has an amazing selection. Give Dad a gym membership. And mums love any goodies from Lorna Jane - you can't go wrong."

THE BIG SHOP

Around 12% of Australians expect to finish their shopping on Christmas Eve.

Shoppers are expected to spend $14.8 billion during the post-Christmas sales.



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