Australia’s love of Boxing Day bargains has delivered a bumper day for retailers, according to the Australian National Retailers Association (ANRA).
“It has been a tough year for retailers and they have pulled out all the stops to ensure Australian shoppers had a bargain packed December. Boxing Day has absolutely delivered on that count,” said ANRA CEO Margy Osmond.
“Boxing Day is shaping up as the biggest shopping day of the year, with a rush for everything from shoes to lawnmowers giving a shot in the arm to retailers large and small. Retailers across the country opened their doors to hordes of shoppers and many are comparing crowds to last year’s record showing.
“While city stores had queues around the block, stores in suburban and regional areas also reported large crowds waiting for opening time. The fall in the Australian dollar means that many imported items such as furniture, electronic goods and clothing will rise in coming months. That means consumers are unlikely to see prices this low for the foreseeable future,” Mrs Osmond said.
David Jones, celebrating its 103rd consecutive post-Christmas sale, greeted early risers at city stores with balloons and gift vouchers. DJs estimates it will sell one million business shirts, half a million towels and 100,000 pairs of shoes during the post-Christmas sales. Early movers at DJs were shoes and clothing, with shoppers moving on to homewares and electrical goods later in the day.
Big W, which opened to strong crowds, reported lawnmowers as a big ticket item, with plenty of blokes lining up to take advantage of advertised specials. Heavily discounted manchester was
also proving popular, and entertainment equipment and televisions were moving very quickly, as they do every year.
Harvey Norman also had shoppers queueing at the door, with their store in Highpoint Melbourne full to capacity by 9:03am (after a 9:00am opening). Customers were particularly keen on gaming
items, with games and consoles selling well. There was also considerable interest in “brown goods”, with LCD and plasma televisions the top choices. Harvey Norman stores reported a very strong two weeks up until Christmas and expected Boxing Day to be the biggest day of the year in terms of sales.
Target also opened strongly, saying crowd numbers were similar to last year’s strong showing. Christmas decorations were running out the door as people stock up for next year. Luxury 1,000
thread count sheets and towels were very popular, as was other types of bed linen. A half-price baby car seat was the “door-buster” at Target stores, which also saw large numbers of customers looking to spend their gift vouchers.
Economic forecasting by Access Economics for the Australian National Retailers Association predicts shoppers will part with over $5.5 billion between Boxing Day and the end of December, and another $9 billion between 1st January and 15th January.
Australians are expected to spend almost $14.6 billion at the shops, compared to $14.1 billion last year over the Boxing Day and New Year period.