Our $467m Boxing Day cash splash
Queenslanders are set to cast aside COVID concerns to splurge more than $400m in a Boxing Day sales shopping frenzy across the state.
The National Retail Association has predicted Sunshine State shoppers will drop $467m today, but QUT Business School retail expert Dr Gary Mortimer said he expected it to be more.
"One of the things we're seeing this year is that we're not travelling, and therefore we're spending," he said.
"I think that's conservative - we just had 13.2 per cent growth in retail in November. That's massive.
"Already both the NRA and the ARA - even their projections are looking like we'll go higher (than 2019). Certainly consumer electronics - JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman and those types of products seem to be selling well.
"A lot of people are buying for home office. Cameras, microphones, green screens, the light rings. JB Hi-Fi had a huge spread on TikTok. You think of all the Zoom interviews you've had this year - that's likely to be the future."
Dr Mortimer said some shoppers may turn to online shopping with fears of a COVID second wave after Sydney's cluster.
Sydney-siders have been issued a stark warning, not to hit the shops, but Queensland Health has not issued any direct guidelines for shoppers.
Individual stores will enforce limits, with some capping the number of shoppers allowed inside at a time and others requiring temperature checks at the door.
Nationally retailers are tipping bumper sales that will see massive discounts of up to 75 per cent. Clothing, footwear and accessories will be among the hordes of stock retailers will be eager to offload at heavily-discounted prices.
The Australian Retailers Association's chief executive officer Paul Zahra said despite many retailers doing it tough in 2020, Boxing Day will still be "the biggest shopping day of the year".
"It's a really exciting time to grab a great deal knowing also that you are contributing to the recovery of the economy, every $1 you spend in a retail job is giving somebody a job," he said.
"It's a genuine clearance, retailers are clearing out their inventory for the year and the discounts are very deep with up to 75 per cent off."
Latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows November was the biggest month in Australia's online shopping history, climbing by 55.6 per cent year-on-year.
In the same month overall retail sales also rose by 13.2 per cent to $31.1 billion.
And despite the horror that has been COVID-19, Australians will likely have more cash to splash at check-outs this year. Local lockdowns allowed many to make important savings and Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed household wealth hit a record high last quarter.
Harvey Norman boss Gerry Harvey said TVs, air fryers and gaming consoles remained the most in-demand items, but many shoppers were keen to support local manufacturers.
"When they come into the shop and you tell them an items is Australian-made they want to buy it more than ever," he said. "Our problem is we haven't got enough Australian manufacturers and the ones that are here are doing very well. We'll be as busy as all hell on Boxing Day right across the country."
Mr Harvey said time will tell if the sales on Boxing Day trounced those of Black Friday, which was the biggest sales day so far in 2020.
Myer chief customer officer Geoff Ikin said the Boxing Day sales will yet again deliver "one of the best opportunities to save on thousands of products". "This year will be no different with Myer offering incredible deals of up to 70 per cent off a huge range of favourite brands and products with new daily deals dropping throughout the next few weeks," he said.
Myer expect to sell over the post-Christmas period more than 60,000 sheet sets, 60,000 pillows and 200,000 bath towels. Mr Ikin said social distancing, enhanced hygiene procedures and sneeze guards will be in place and for those who want to shop in store.
David Jones regional manager Magda Combrinck said their sales would have "incredible savings on current season stock".
Originally published as Qld's $467m Boxing Day cash splash