Traffic chaos from Boxing Day sale bargain hunters
RETAILERS today braced for mass crowds as shoppers queued for several hours in preparation to spend $2.62 billion across the country, with a quarter of that being purchased online.
The National Retail Association forecast Queenslanders will today spend $441 million on the biggest sale day of the year.
Today's highly anticipated bargains come after the hugely popular Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales late last month, which saw Australians splurge over a billion dollars, providing a much-needed cash injection for retailers after a tough year.
Some of the sales around Brisbane's Queen St Mall included 50% off selected items at Lush and Mecca Cosmetica, 30-50% off at H&M, and discounts across several ranges at David Jones and Myer.
Jasmine Pike, who had been waiting in line at Lush since 6am, said she woke up at 5.30am to make sure she was at the front of the line.
"Last year I was all the way down at Boost so this year I decided there was no messing around and I had to be at the front," she said.
Rachel Welsh, who was second in line, said she had been participating in Boxing Day sales at Lush for four years.
"I come here every year, I made the trip from Mt Warren Park and got here about 7am," she said.
Others flocked through David Jones as the doors opened on the hunt for sound systems, handbags and wallets and footwear.
Traffic remains backed up around Brisbane's DFO Skygate beside the airport with the centre warning for lengthy delays as hundreds of shoppers flood the centre.
Congestion is building along the Southern Cross Way and the East West Arterial Rd.
Forecast figures show online sales are set to increase by more than 23 per cent from last year, according to NRA CEO Dominique Lamb.
"Online we know that $655 million is going to be spent today," Ms Lamb told reporters in Brisbane.
"We know that our multi-channels and our pure-player online retailers are really taking advantage of Boxing Day."
One of the country's major department store brands, David Jones, is anticipating a surge in sales online from previous years.
Queensland regional manager Rowena Derksen said online sales could account for half of this year's revenue for the brand.
"Nationally we expect to have over a million through our doors today and we also expect to have the same number of people visit our website," she said.
Ms Lamb said Boxing Day this year is set to be record breaking, with popular items being manchester, footwear and cosmetics.
"Boxing Day is one of the biggest days on the Australian shopping calendar and retailers across the country are bracing themselves for a shopping blitz," Ms Lamb said.
"The NRA forecasts that Aussie shoppers will splash more than $2.6 billion in cash nationwide, eclipsing all previous Boxing day sales records."
Ms Derksen said all available staff were rostered on in preparation for the big day.