Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Shoppers all set for Boxing Day challenge

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Sisters Cetina (from left), Nikketa, and Savana Campbell started waiting at 2 a.m. Thursday to be the first in line for Boxing Day deals on a couple of car starters and an iPod at Advance Electronics in Winnipeg. The sisters waited in their car between 2 and 5 a.m., then braved -21 C temperatures outside until 6 a.m., when the store allowed people inside to wait for the final hour until opening. This is the sisters' third year waiting outside for Boxing Day deals.

DAVID LIPNOWSKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Sisters Cetina (from left), Nikketa, and Savana Campbell started waiting at 2 a.m. Thursday to be the first in line for Boxing Day deals on a couple of car starters and an iPod at Advance Electronics in Winnipeg. The sisters waited in their car between 2 and 5 a.m., then braved -21 C temperatures outside until 6 a.m., when the store allowed people inside to wait for the final hour until opening. This is the sisters' third year waiting outside for Boxing Day deals. Photo Store

The Boxing Day deals around Winnipeg will be plentiful, but won't last long.

During the week after Christmas, retail stores around Winnipeg will be busy emptying their shelves to mark an end to the holiday season.

At Advance Electronics, customers were to be greeted with a live DJ, heated garage and a chance to win a $1,000 pre-paid gift card, not to mention the first 100 people in line get a free Samsung router.

"It's a storewide event, and we try to do it differently. It's all about the customer experience, and we want to make it unique," said Advance's Rob Olinyk. "In case of any crazy weather in the morning, we let our customers line up in our heated garage to wait until we open at 7 a.m."

Olinyk says they'll have extra staff working today to handle the rush of shoppers.

Boxing Day shopping has moved online in recent years, cutting down on the early-morning lineups and frenzied rush for door-crasher deals. And, this year saw significant hype around Black Friday, the American Thanksgiving shopping tradition that retailers have tried to import to Canada.

A BMO holiday spending report released last month stated more people planned to hit Black Friday sales and fewer planned to brave the rush on Boxing Day. Only 59 per cent of respondents said they'll do some shopping on Dec. 26, down from 62 per cent last year.

Still, Hanford Drewitt menswear on Broadway typically sees long lines outside, especially if the weather co-operates.

"If it's warmer outside, it gets busy. If it's colder, then people tend to stay home," said manager Peter Henry. "Every year though, they line up around the building, and down Broadway. People seem to start with us before they get on with their shopping plans."

With the frigid temperatures lately, most of the outerwear and winter gear has disappeared from the shelves.

jesse.marks@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 26, 2013 A11

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Updated on Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 7:29 AM CST: Adds new image.

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