That’s the forecast of Dr Gary Mortimer from Queensland University of Technology (QUT)’s School of Advertising and Public Relations who believes Boxing Day sales can provide a release from pre-Christmas shopping stress for many consumers.
He said there were always dedicated bargain-hunters who headed for the stores on Boxing Day, no matter what.
“Shoppers have just spent weeks purchasing gifts for others, so post-Christmas Boxing Day sales provides an opportunity for self-gifting,” he said.
“Buying gifts for others is a highly complex, involved and important activity, and when combined with extra promotions from retailers, harassed consumers are faced with information overload.
“Boxing Day sales are often seen as a release, an opportunity to treat oneself, to be self-indulgent and seek gratification for hedonistic pleasure.”
However, the Boxing Day buzz might not be as great this year as previous years.
Consumers’ focus on debt reduction and savings would mean less of a Boxing Day bonanza than usual at shopping centres, according to Dr Mortimer.
He said the increased popularity of online shopping, apprehension from home-owners about more looming interest rate hikes and a reluctance to pay full price for products would contribute to a less-than-stellar day for already struggling retailers.
“Boxing Day sales in 2009 were clearly artificially heightened by the stimulus payments, however, this year consumers are focused on debt reduction and savings,” said Dr Mortimer.
“The growth of e-commerce will also have an impact on shopping centre sales.
“A factor motivating shoppers to go online is the potential saving of GST for purchases under $1000.
“You don’t even need to be at home to shop, with mobile phone technology so advanced, consumers are spending online increasingly.
“With the Australian dollar at almost parity with the US, shoppers are realising they can buy the brands they want, have them delivered to their door and not have to deal with Boxing Day sale crowds and crowded car parks.
“So with cautious consumers, a strong Aussie dollar, the rise of ecommerce and no stimulus – it’s all pointing to sluggish Boxing Day sales.”
Media contact: Sharon Thompson, QUT media officer – 3138 4494 firstname.lastname@example.org