Thousands of eager Aussie bargain hunters are expected to line up well before dawn to snare prime position ahead of the Boxing Day sales frenzy, with punters set to splurge up to $2.5 billion.
Major department stores have set up secure zones outside their city stores ahead of Saturday’s sales, with Myer and David Jones to throw open their doors at 5am and other retailers around 7am.
During the overall post-Christmas sales period, from December 26 to January 15, the Retail Council predicts almost $21 billion will be spent nationwide.
“Positive consumer confidence, coupled with record low interest rates and falling unemployment will go towards making this year’s Boxing Day and annual summer clearance sale period stronger than last year,” Retail Council chief executive Anna McPhee said.
“Stronger growth in retail activity will support the retail sector in contributing more than 4.5 per cent to GDP this year.
“The Australian Retailers Association is slightly more modest in its spending projections, but is still tipping that Australians will pour a massive $17 billion into retail coffers over the next three weeks.
Sales activity is expected to be firmer across all states compared to last year, with NSW and Victorian shoppers leading the way by forking out $954 million and $747 million respectively on Boxing Day.
All stores across NSW will be able to open on Boxing Day for the first time, as opposed to former laws permitting only stores in the CBD and tourist precincts to trade.
ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman said the relaxation of NSW’s trading laws could see Boxing Day sales soar well past expectations.
“It’s really an unknown quantity because shoppers and traders right across NSW have never had this opportunity,” Mr Zimmerman said.And with some stores opening from 5am on Saturday, keen shoppers are expected to queue outside popular stores to cash in on hefty discounts.
Customers are most likely to buy clothing, homewares and electronics on Boxing Day, according to the Retail Council’s survey.Mr Zimmerman expects women’s shoes, men’s corporate wear and “seasonal products” such as fans and air conditioners to fly off the shelves.
Online sales are estimated to reach $2.7 billion, or 16 per cent of total spending, over the entire sale period.