Boxing Day Bonanza: Aussie Shoppers To Spend Around $18 Billion
The countdown is on for shoppers wanting to pick up last-minute Christmas gifts as the national spend continues to mount.
In the 10-day countdown to Christmas Eve shoppers are predicted to blow around $18 billion nationwide, according to the National Retail Association.
That figure is expected to reach $51.4 billion around the country in the period between November 15 to Christmas Eve, according to the Australian Retailers Association.
It also predicts $18.3 billion will be spent from Boxing Day right through to the new year.
Overall, the spend is up 2.9 per cent on previous years.
"Black Friday and Cyber Monday both occurred in the lead up to Christmas and they have become a very important aspect of the Christmas trade," ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman told AAP.
"Every retailer I've spoken to in the past couple of days has been very comfortable with the way sales have gone."
Zimmerman says the biggest increase is in online sales but food is at the top of the list when it comes to increased indulgence.
"Food has topped the increase this year," he said.
"With the drought, there have been a lot of people affected by this drought in country towns. So prices of food have gone up.
"The other thing that's got a fairly high increase is hospitality, so eating out."
Apparel has increased by 3.1 per cent.
"I don't think the discounting is as harsh and hard as it has been in years gone by," Zimmerman said.
And retailers are predicting that Australians will spend a further $2.4 billion in the Boxing Day sales, an increase of 5.5 per cent on last year.
Most shopping centres will close by 6pm on Christmas Eve but some are staying open up until midnight.