Australian retailers are banking on a boost in Boxing Day spending with thousands of shoppers expected to swarm malls around the country.
The Australian National Retailers Association (ANRA) predicts spending on Boxing Day across the nation will reach $1.9 billion – 5.5 per cent more than 2012.
Victoria will see the most spending, according to ANRA’s forecasts, due to unrestricted trading, followed by NSW.
Victorians are tipped to spend $637 million while NSW will spend $545 million.
Overall, purchases at bricks and mortar stores in Australia are expected to make up most of the December 26 sales at $1.59 billion.
Sales through online Australian stores could reach $344 million while overseas online purchases are estimated to make up $310 million.
For the first time in its 175-year history, David Jones started it’s Boxing Day sale on Christmas eve, offering online buyers first dibs.
Department stores Myer, Target and clothing and homewares brand Country Road were also among stores that offered Boxing Day deals early to online shoppers.
Shopping centres are opening their doors earlier on Boxing Day to accommodate the influx of shoppers, with David Jones stores in Sydney and Melbourne CBDs opening at 5am (AEDT).
Chadstone in Melbourne will open at 7am but Myer will open at 5am.
Australian Retailers Association executive director Russell Zimmerman told AAP he didn’t think the lure of early sales online would take away from the familiar frenzy seen in department stores on Thursday.
“There’s a real atmosphere around Boxing Day sales, it’s full of people, it’s full of excitement and noise and generally speaking there’s entertainment around,” he said.
“You may well find that people will be encouraged to come out, they’ll think it might not be quite so busy as it’s been in the past because of the online sales, but I suspect it will be just as busy.”