Australian shoppers didn’t seem in a rush for the Boxing Day sales but when they finally made it there was no stopping them.
Sales figures are still a few months away but anecdotally – if sales continue as they have – it will be a good year for retailers.
“Across the board it would appear to me most people left it a bit later, slept in and then hit it with a vengeance,” said Russell Zimmerman from the Australian Retailers Association on Friday.
Post-Christmas sales are continuing to bring out the shoppers, with Mr Zimmerman describing a “fair whack of people” out and about in Sydney’s CBD on Friday as well.
There were queues in shopping centres across the country on Thursday as shoppers snapped up bargains or window-shopped to walk off the pudding and prawns.
Many shops rely on festive season sales, with those from mid-November to mid-January accounting for up to 60 per cent of annual sales.
And this year could be as good, if not better, than last year, Mr Zimmerman has predicted.
“But my biggest concern is obviously if that really hot weather hits as predicted, that could start to slow things down in the later stages of the week,” he said.
While the air-conditioned shops could be a source of relief for some, the thought of leaving the pool, beach or house might be too much for others.
Bargain-hunting Aussies are also keeping the National Retailers Association happy, with early indications looking like this year’s sales are better than last year.
“We’re seeing that trend continue with gift cards and cash for Christmas and families going out, almost like a tradition, on Boxing Day,” chief executive Dominique Lamb said.
To combat those who shun the shops for online sales, some stores introduced new ‘pop sales’ with bigger discounts for shoppers in store at certain times.
“It seemed to work – people are definitely talking about what they’re getting cheaper than online,” she said.
Official retail figures are set to be released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in March.