Shoppers at a Gold Coast toy store have enjoyed a surprise Christmas gift after a mystery shopper paid off $16,000 worth of gifts on lay-by.
Staff at the Mr Toys Toyworld store in Burleigh Waters said the mystery woman came into the shop last week and paid off more than 80 lay-bys.
The woman didn’t ask for recognition and said she simply wanted to help other people out following a tough 2020.
According to AMP’s 2020 Financial Wellness research, 1.8 million workers have reported severe or moderate financial stress this year while women have been significantly more impacted by the stress.
Employee Maddie Gillespie told the ABC the heartwarming move left workers “speechless”, and that she had had to console parents who were overcome when they discovered their purchases had been paid off.
Gillespie said the woman and her two friends later returned to the store to give gifts to the staff members, and the woman returned a third time to walk around the store with a customer as he selected toys.
Then, the mystery woman paid for the entire Christmas shop, worth around $3,000 or $4,000, according to Gillespie.
"We wish she could know how grateful people are," fellow employee Rachael Thompson said.
Single mum Alannah Loadsman told Sunrise that she had put down a $60 deposit on a $300 dollhouse and discovered the $240 balance had been paid off when she called the store.
“I called two days ago to add something to my lay-by and was advised that it had been paid off,” she said.
“They told me the lovely lady had come in and paid for everyone’s lay-by - it was just amazing.”
She said it was the “most beautiful thing to do”.
According to Finder research, the average Australian will spend $893 on Christmas.
“The holiday season is expensive, and the cost of presents, food and decorations can leave a serious dent in the household budget,” personal finance expert Kate Browne said.
“It’s important to implement some tried and true money saving techniques. Write a Christmas shopping list ahead of time, stick to your budget and don’t rely on credit cards you can’t afford to pay off.
“It also helps to start shopping as early on as possible, so you can spread the cost over a couple of paycheques.”