Boxing Week bargain hunters get to the shops early Friday

Doug Gallant
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Big screen TVs, Blu-Ray players and audio systems proved popular

With gift cards clutched securely in one hand and sales flyers in the other, shoppers in search of Boxing Week bargains flocked to the malls in Charlottetown Friday, a day later than their Upper Canadian cousins.

Parking lots were packed with people on the hunt for everything from big screen televisions and next generation smart phones to discounted Christmas decorations.

Serious bargain hunters were on the go early, hoping to be among the first in the door at places like Future Shop, which opened it doors at 6 a.m. and Wal-Mart, which opened an hour later at 7 a.m.

Martin Arsenault, of Summerside, who left home at 4 a.m. said it was worth the drive to save $200 on the 42-inch TV he wanted.

"With the money I saved on the TV I was able to buy a new tablet," Arsenault said.

Big screen TVs, Blu-Ray players and audio systems proved to be a popular draw for many consumers anxious to take their home theatre experience to the next level.

"A number of people were looking for smart TVs or smart Blu-Ray players that allow them to view additional content from other sources like YouTube, Facebook and Netflix," said a Future Shop clerk who asked not to have his name published.

At Wal-Mart, The Source and Target the story was much the same, with customers looking to pick up discounted televisions, DVD and Blu-Ray players, tablet computers and videogame systems.

But not everybody was out for electronics.

Helen O'Brien, of Charlottetown, said this is the time of year she likes to freshen up her closet because there are great deals on clothing.

Mary McConnell said for her Boxing Day is about stocking up on wrapping paper, gift boxes and tags for next Christmas.

"It's also a good time to pick up extra sets of Christmas lights because you know when you put your tree up next year there's going to be at least one or two sets of lights that won't work. Better to get them now at half price then pay full price next December," McConnell said.

Her son Chad was not impressed with mom's discounted Christmas decorations.

"I've got Christmas money to buy games for my Xbox system, why am I looking at wrapping paper?"

And all the action wasn't at the malls on the outskirts of the city.

With many parking spaces finally freed up downtown by city snow removal crews there was a lot of activity in the city core as well.

Downtown shoppers too were on the hunt for bargains in home electronics, clothing, Christmas decorations and giftwrap.

"I like to support our merchants downtown so that's where I'm doing my shopping today," said Mary Campbell. "I may have a little less to choose from downtown but    I almost always find what I want. And these people are my neighbours so I feel good when I shop there."

While hitting the stores for Boxing Day or Boxing Week sales is still popular with many Islanders, a clerk at one store said the numbers are down slightly because consumers can find good Boxing Day sales online.

Organizations: Future Shop, Wal-Mart, The Source

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Summerside

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