Boxing Day bonanza set to help Australian retailers

By Bizclik Editor

Retailers are setting out to make it an even merrier Christmas this season with larger than normal discounts on Boxing Day in hopes to attract customers.

Following a year of weaker consumer spending, retailers are bumping up the incentives with clearance sales to possibly counteract the tight wallets of 2011.

 The department store Myer is launching its most aggressive stocktake sale that a fresh online presence encouraged, said chief executive Bernie Brookes. This correlates with a higher number of Australians shopping online for Christmas presents than previous holiday seasons, according to latest figures from the group Quantium Online.

Cooler temperatures are partly to blame for freezing people’s typical summer spending. Myer-rival David Jones also has Boxing Day promises of its largest sale because of an unusually cool summer that created a stock surplus.

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''It's the coldest summer that we've had in 50 years, so a lot of our summer stock will be reduced,” said Helen Karlis, a David Jones spokeswoman.

Myer is offering “deal of the day” promotions to push sales and reward customers in stores with refunds.

''I think we know that consumers are finding it pretty hard to part with their money,'' Brookes said. “'It will give us, we think, the best results ever. We have spent a lot of time throwing it all out and starting again, and it will look different, be different and fits in line with what people do with 'deals of a day' and add a whole new urgency to it.”

These in-store marketing efforts and online offers to make consumers crack the leather on their billfolds will most likely be mimicked by others in the industry, including high-profile Australian retailers Billabong and JB Hi-Fi.

Give the retail industry a helping-holiday-hand and bust out the plastic this season. Swipe away before these sales say, “Happy Boxing Day ‘to all and to all a good night.’”

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