Boxing Day bargain hunt after flat period for retailers

Australians are set to spend billions on Boxing Day sales as retailers prepare larger discounts than usual after a slow year.

Sales spending for the Boxing Day period to December 31 is set to be around $9 billion including $3 billion on Boxing Day itself, retailers say.

Flat sales have resulted from multiple interest rate hikes and economic uncertainty in the lead-up to Christmas, National Retail Association director Rob Godwin said.

Retailers will try to offset this slow period with larger Boxing Day discounts in a bid to boost end-of-year spending, according to the association which represents fast food outlets and other retailers.

ā€œThatā€™s good news for buyers, but itā€™s also important for retailers as it provides the cashflow they need to sustain their business operations and employment levels through the quieter parts of the new year,ā€ he said.

NSW and Victoria are largely expected to out-spend the other states, dropping $997 million and $926 million respectively on Tuesday, according to data released by the Australian Retailers Association (ARA).

Queenslanders will take bronze with a predicted spend of $514 million, followed by shoppers in Western Australia with $260 million, South Australia with $145 million, Tasmania and the ACT with more than $60 million each and the Northern Territory with $30 million.

The ARA expects spending over the extended Boxing Day sales period ā€“ between December 26 and January 15 ā€“ at almost $24 billion, up some $400 million from last yearā€™s sales period.

But ecommerce logistics platform Shippit said retailers should expect as much as a 40 per cent decline in Boxing Day sales because shoppers spent big on Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

Almost 40 per cent of Australians ā€“ some 7.5 million people ā€“ plan to shop the Boxing Day sales, according to comparison website Finder.

It said average shoppers are expected to fork out over $310, with women ($132) splashing more cash than men ($92).

Gen Y tops its spendersā€™ list with $188, followed by Gen Z ($143), Gen X ($89) and Baby Boomers ($23).

Citing survey results, Finder says one quarter of Australians find the influx of texts and emails about sales unbearable, while one in ten admit making an impulse purchase they shouldnā€™t have.


Dominic Giannini
(Australian Associated Press)


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