Retailers are set to cash in this Boxing Day. Photo: Glenn Hunt
Retailers are set to cash in this Boxing Day, with Canberrans expected to spend more than $43 million at the annual sales.
The Australian National Retailers Association, which represents many of Australia's biggest stores, is predicting a $43.4 million Boxing Day spend in the ACT, up 5.1 per cent on last year..
Across Australia shoppers are expected to spend $1.8 billion at the till and online.
There are often frenzied scenes at the big stores on December 26, but a marketing expert from the University of Canberra says they may face competition from online retailers starting their sales on Christmas Day instead.
Raechel Johns, assistant professor in marketing, said online stores were able to jump the gun on their physical counterparts because they remained open 24 hours, and starting their sales on Christmas Day offered a point of difference to shoppers.
''People can start to shop around for the best prices from Christmas night if they want to, and then go out on Boxing Day if they haven't found what they want online,'' she said.
But Dr Johns said waiting for goods purchased online to be delivered may put some shoppers off.
''If they're really itching, and they thought they were getting something on Christmas Day and they didn't get it, they want it on Boxing Day,'' she said.
Dr Johns said the big stores would be trying to get shoppers through the door with low prices on big-ticket items including iPads and Kindle e-book readers.
''Electronics are really trendy this year,'' she said.
Australian National Retailers Association CEO Margy Osmond said generation Y were more likely than any other age bracket to leave their Christmas shopping until Boxing Day, with 5 per cent of 18- to 24-year-olds planning to get it done at the sales.
"Gen Y love a bargain. Since the global financial crisis they have consistently been conservative and savvy shoppers, much more likely to hit the sales periods and hunt out a bargain online,'' she said.
The association is expecting clothing, followed by homewares and electronics to be the most popular choices for women shopping on Boxing Day.
For men, clothing is also expected to top shopping lists, with electronics second and homewares third.
Business shirts are always a popular item at the sales, with men stocking up for the working year.
The association's shopping tips for Boxing Day include making a prioritised shopping list and wearing flat shoes and clothing that is easy to manage in a changing room.
Myer at Belconnen and Canberra Centre, and David Jones at Canberra Centre and Woden will open their doors at 7am on Wednesday.