Savvy shoppers head online to avoid Boxing Day crowds

BOXING Day shoppers are expected to spend $2.3 billion nationwide as they seek out the best bargains.

The Australian Retailers Association and Roy Morgan Research are predicting NSW will reap the biggest profit, about $749 million.

They expect Victoria to come in second at $721 million, then Queensland at $387 million.

Retail comparison website finder.com.au has predicted the same three states will top Boxing Day online spending for savvy shoppers who want to ditch the queues.

They expect online customers to spend $317 million today alone.

Finder.com.au consumer advocate Bessie Hassan said in 2014 the number of shoppers on finder.com.au almost doubled overnight from Christmas Day to Boxing Day.

A 2015 finder.com.au survey found 13.5% of shoppers would head online today.

"This year so far, we're already seeing a 76% increase in the number of online shoppers compared to 2014 and this will only continue to grow," Ms Hassan said.

ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman said: "In New South Wales for the first time ever, all stores across the state will be able to open on Boxing Day, as opposed to the previous law permitting only stores in the CBD and tourist precincts to trade, which means New South Wales suburban and regional retailers will also be in a position to take advantage of this lucrative shopping day".

He is expecting the big profits to continue after Boxing Day following pre-Christmas record sales.

ARA and Roy Morgan expect post-Christmas sales to be 4% higher than in Christmas 2014, with $16.8 billion predicted to be spent between Boxing Day and January 15, 2016.

It is not all good news for retailers, with research suggesting thefts in the six weeks to Christmas Day will cost them $1.4 billion.

- APN NEWSDESK


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