Holiday shoppers hit Coquitlam Centre, stores despite snow

Boxing Day a busy one for local stores

Snow did not keep shoppers away from the stores this holiday season.

At the mall, visits to Santa at Coquitlam Centre were up, the food court was busier than usual and the Evergreen Extension brought new customers.

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Celia Chiang, owner of Port Moody Flowers, puts together a display of seasonal flowers. The local shop was busy over the holiday season with high demand for cut flowers, centre pieces and specialty items. - Diane Strandberg

Customers also flocked to Best Buy for deals on electronics, snapped up sporting gear at Corner Sports in Port Coquitlam, bought specialty meats and turkey at Meat Craft in Port Moody, and decorated their tables with centre pieces from Port Moody Flowers.

"Our traffic for most days has been up ... and those few days that it wasn’t, were definitely impacted by the snow and cold weather," said Deborah Stetz, marketing manager at Coquitlam Centre.

Keenan Kerswell spent his Boxing Day helping customers at the Best Buy store in Coquitlam Centre mall. - Diane Strandberg

But if the snow had some downsides, it also compressed the shopping season into a few short days, according to Chiang, the owner of Port Moody Flowers.

"It happened to be such nice weather leading up (to the holiday weekend) so that really helped."

Boxing Day was particularly hectic at Coquitlam Centre where Keenan Kerswell was working in operations and customers service. He said shoppers were lined up as far as London Drugs by 5 a.m. to take advantage of special deals, particularly for televisions.

"Boxing Day is the day to buy TVs because of all the deals," Kerswell said.

Dave Robson, of Mission, found some good deals at Coquitlam Centre mall, while his daughter, Alex, tried out the hoverboard she got for Christmas.

Outside the store there were a lot of happy customers, including one man who got a good deal on a price match and a father and daughter duo who were taking advantage of Boxing Week sales to get more value for the gift cards they got for Christmas.

"I came from Mission and it was way worth it," said Dave Robson, who bought his merchandise at the Mr. Big and Tall shop.

Jason Van Bergen said Boxing Day was busy at his sporting goods store, Corner Sports in Port Coquitlam, where shoppers arrived, usually with kids in tow, to stock up on hockey and lacrosse equipment, which was marked down dramatically.

"People tend to go buy their electronics first," Van Bergen said of Boxing Day, "they come to us for a pair of hockey skates after they get their flat screen TVs," he said, joking, noting that the snow has brought in a lot of customers looking for deals on skis and snowboard equipment, too.

Tyler Greaves gets ready to slice up some pork chops at Meat Craft Urban Butchery in Port Moody, where shoppers splurged on specialty meats and sausages as well as the famous turducken, a dish consisting of a deboned chicken stuffed into a deboned duck and further stuffed into a deboned turkey. the holiday season was a busy one for the store that sources its organic and hormone-free meat and chicken from B.C. farms.

Over at Meat Craft Urban Butchery in Port Moody, customers purchased heirloom breed turkeys for their holiday dinner table and turducken, a deboned chicken, duck and turkey stuffed inside each other with sausage for a special treat.
Tyler Greaves said he expected to sell a lot of appies for New Year's eve, including bacon wrapped tenderloin kabobs and sausage rolls.

"We hunt for the best stuff as possible as close as possible," Greaves said of Meat Craft, owned by Greg McFetridge, which sources its ethically treated, free range, no hormone meat and chicken from B.C. farms.

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