Shoppers capitalise on David Jones, Myer opening early for Boxing Day sales
They came early, stayed for hours, and shopped with an indefatigable resolve that turned bargain-hunting into a sport.
Hundreds queued in crisp, pre-dawn light in Sydney's CBD waiting for the doors of David Jones and Myer to open at 5am as sales staff geared up for record-breaking Boxing Day sales.
Among the hordes was Marja Roodt, 34, and her brother Marius Ficher, 24, who had set their alarms for 3:45am to make the bus ride into the city from Cammeray, in Sydney's lower north shore.
By 7:30am their arms were heavy with bags carrying homewares and clothes, and they had scheduled in a pit-stop at Myer's cafe to replenish their energy levels before beginning again.
Ms Roodt, who had relocated from South Africa with her husband and young child earlier this year, said she'd been holding out for the sales to equip her new home.
"We have just moved to Sydney, so we need lots of things," she said. "If you buy right, then you can make lots of savings."
Mr Ficher, a seasoned shopper, came with a strategy. The trick, he said, was not to be bewildered by the sheer number of items of sale and lose your nerve or, worse still, spend recklessly on unwanted things.
"There's the impulse control you experience in any normal shop, but now it's times a hundred. So if you see something you like, you need to walk around the shop and think about it before you buy it."
The Australian Retailers Association predicted Australians would spend $2.3 billion dollars in stores across the country on Monday - the highest in Australia's retail history. NSW shoppers were expected to lead the spending-spree, splurging $766 million on purchases, almost $30 million more than the same day last year.
"Pre-Christmas sales were strong for retailers across the nation, however we anticipate this Boxing Day to be stellar, with consumers predicted to spend almost 3 per cent more than last year," ARA executive Russell Zimmerman said.
At David Jones stores, staff were expecting to process sales for more than a million men's business shirts, more than half a million pieces of intimate apparel and hosiery, 150,000 Lego sets, 70,000 small appliances, and 55,000 women's dresses.
Gearing up for six hours of solid shopping was Linda, a mother of three young children, from Luddenham, near Penrith. After two hours, her son's stroller was already brimming with bargains as shopping bags carrying shoes, towels, clothes and sheets hung from the handles.
"If you get here later, there's just too many people and you can't look at any thing," she said.
Also struggling under the weight of his purchases was David Liu, who had driven in to the city from Ryde for the 5am start, mostly so he could get a car park.
"It's my first time going to the Boxing Day sales. I tried three years ago but it was too crowded."
By 7am, he had spent around $1000 on a Dyson vacuum cleaner and a Kitchen Aid mixer, but planned to pick up something for his wife and parents, who had opted to sleep in, before heading home.
The story Shoppers capitalise on David Jones, Myer opening early for Boxing Day sales first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.