Millions of bargain hunters around Australia are preparing to flood shopping centres and online platforms on Boxing Day to take advantage of the end-of-year sales.
On Tuesday, the National Retail Association (NRA) said Boxing Day 2019 is likely to be the biggest ever on record.
Forecasts show that consumers could spend $2.62 billion on Boxing Day alone, NRA chief executive Dominique Lamb said.
New South Wales is on track for the biggest spend with $871 million; closely followed by Victoria at $825 million, and Queensland is third with $441 million.
“Boxing Day is one of the biggest days on the Australian shopping calendar and retailers across the country are bracing themselves for a shopping blitz,” Ms Lamb said.
“Bargain prices can be found across retail brands of all shapes and sizes, but we also recommend that shoppers do their homework before embarking on the shops.
“This includes checking what time the shops open, the most convenient way to navigate each outlet on the agenda and comparing what bargains are on offer across each store.”
Shoppers are tipped to spend a staggering $18.72 billion over the entire post-Christmas trading period, forecasts by Roy Morgan and the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) show, up 2.3 per cent on last year.
Food tops the list of items that shoppers will splurge on, with $7.7 billion expected to be spent on everything from prawns to champagne between December 26 and January 15.
An estimated $1.5 billion will be spent on apparel (including clothing, footwear and accessories), $2.7 billion on hospitality and $3.1 billion on household goods.
“The forecast growth in post-Christmas sales is slower than that predicted for the pre-Christmas period, which is now forecast at $52.7 billion, an increase of 2.5 per cent on a year ago,” Roy Morgan chief executive Michele Levine said.
“The lower rate of growth predicted for post-Christmas sales comes as the importance of the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend has rapidly grown in importance over the last few years and pulled sales forward into November at the expense of later sales periods – including post-Christmas.”
The nation’s busiest shopping centres and strips on Boxing Day will most likely be in inner-city Melbourne, which is home to Australia’s top shoppers, according to a recent Cashrewards survey.
Other bustling shopping areas were tipped to be in Calamvale, Drewvale and Stretton near Brisbane, and Queensland suburbs such as Carrara, Binna Burra, Pacific Pines and Nerang.
South Australians are the least enthusiastic about this year’s Boxing Day sales, according to the poll.
With nearly 60 per cent of Boxing Day shoppers expected to be women, it’s no surprise that women’s clothing, shoes, make-up and books are shaping up as some of the biggest sellers.
Retailers are also preparing for a run on electronics, such as video games, televisions and computers, Cashrewards found.
According to the survey, people aged 25 to 34 years old were most likely to splurge on the big day, followed by those aged 35 to 44, and 45 to 54-year-olds.
Black Friday overtakes Boxing Day for online sales
Once the undisputed sales event of the year, the growing popularity of online shopping is threatening the dominance of Boxing Day sales.
In fact, Boxing Day is no longer the most popular day for online shopping in Australia.
That title now belongs to the pre-Christmas online and bricks-and-mortar blockbuster Black Friday, which this year took place on November 29.
Originating in the United States, Black Friday happens on the Friday after Thanksgiving and is followed three days later by Cyber Monday, with the entire sales period referred to as Cyber Week.
In Australia, interest in Black Friday surged in 2017 following the arrival of Amazon, with Google Trends data showing that searches for ‘Black Friday’ rose by 50 per cent between 2017 and 2018.
“I think it’s that time of the year when it’s become an ideal time to save money ahead of Christmas,” Cashrewards founder Andrew Clarke told The New Daily.
People are now buying a lot of their Christmas gifts in November – November has become the new December.’’
But Mr Clarke insisted Boxing Day sales weren’t going away any time soon, largely thanks to online shopping.
“Every year, Boxing Day is getting bigger and bigger online,” he said.
Where to find Boxing Day bargains
From the internet to major department stores, it’s easy to find Boxing Day bargains, with some retailers even starting their sales early.
From December 24, shoppers can hunt down bargains at a range of online stores including 30 per cent off sitewide at Ally Fashion and You+All from December 24 to 27, and 60 per cent off sitewide at Meshki from 6pm.
From December 26, JB Hi-Fi will offer 20 per cent off storewide, while Big W has some major deals for tech-lovers.
From Boxing Day, Big W customers will be able to buy a half-price JVC 39″ television for just $199, down from $399.
The store will also shave off $188 from the price of EKO 65″ 4K Android/Google televisions, bringing them down to $561 from $749.
And it’s not just televisions and phones that will come cheap, with a selection of Tontine products, such as pillows, quilts, mattresses, toppers and doonas slashed by 50 per cent.