Coming from Wellington, where shops typically closes down early, Chirstchurch just opens up shopping opportunities galore. Experienced as it is with Japanese tourists, duty free shops abound in Christchurch. Other non-duty free shops also offer duty free prices, or that’s what they claim anyway. Because the city is small, the shopping is concentrated in about a two-three blocks parameter. Knowing that many tourists take daytrips outside the city, the stores open late, some until 11pm at night. And even then, if you want to enter the store at five minutes to 11, they would accommodate.
Things to buy from Christchurch include sweaters and treasures made out of sheepskins. I went shopping with my boss after the TransAlpine trip and a satisfying meal at the Parkroyal’s Canterbury Tales. It was late, after 9pm when we started out. At the first shop we visited—I think the name was Made in New Zealand or something similar—I found the most gorgeous sheepskin laced up slippers for children, perfect for my twin niece and nephew. My boss found sweaters and windbreakers and other goodies galore for his family. However, the sweater he intended to buy for his daughter was not the right size, and the color combination and style were just not right. The shopowner called all other shops in the Christchurch, who one after another sends a worker over with different sizes and different color combination, until my boss found one that is just right for his daughter. It makes me wonder whether they are all owned by one person, who assigns arbitrary names so that they look like different stores. But then again, different stores have different prices for the same thing, so go figure. Maybe all they have is a working arrangement. Whatever the case, the service is just incredible.