Boxing day sales shoppers hit the stores to grab a bargain

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AUSTRALIANS spent an estimated $200 million online yesterday as they got the jump on shoppers who braved the Boxing Day crowds.

Australian Retailers Association executive director Russell Zimmerman said online sales would make up seven per cent or more of the estimated $2.3 billion spent nationally in the Boxing Day sales.

I think that figure will probably push up a little bit today beyond what the 7 per cent is, Mr Zimmerman said.

The seven per cent figure is in line with the $200 million Cashrewards estimated online shoppers would spend this year, up from $125 million last year.

Mr Zimmerman said major retailers told him there had been a steady stream of customers shopping online since Christmas Eve, with many opting for click and collect to get their purchases as soon as possible.

Finder.com.au said Australians spent about $1.67 million every minute of Boxing Day.

Research from finder.com.au showed that last year more than 50 per cent of shoppers logged on between the hours of 6am and 1pm on Boxing Day to grab the best bargains online and nearly one fifth of people checked out the online savings before 2am on Boxing Day.

Mr Zimmerman said the trend in the past few years was for retailers to start offering their post-Christmas discounts early online in the lead up to Christmas.

Some of them are probably only matching what they were doing in store in many cases, he said

Myer and David Jones launched online discounts on Saturday while Kogan launched its post-Christmas discounts five days before Boxing Day.

Department stores Myer and David Jones opened their doors to the public at 5am on Boxing Day, and mad shoppers were greeted at David Jones by swimsuit model Jessica Gomes who hosted the final countdown.

Oakleigh resident Alex Poon, 18, was first in line at Myer and had been waiting since 10pm last night.

He mostly used social media and chatted to other shoppers to pass the seven-hour wait.

I got in at 10pm, and just thought I would come down with a few friends, Mr Poon said.

I hope to get a few clothes bargains.

Michael Le was one of the lucky few who won the golden ticket to Myer, allowing him to enter the store 15 minutes before anyone else.

He arrived in line at Myer at midnight.

I heard the event was happening so hoping to see how it all goes down, Mr Le said.

Mr Le said he has a gift in mind for someone special he was hoping to snap up the bargains, but remained tight-lipped on what he had his eye on.

Meanwhile, Amanda McNeill lined up at David Jones from 8pm.

I just love, love, love a bargain, Ms McNeill said.

Other hardcore fans who did not want to brave the hot weather and queues decided to stay in hotels in the CBD to be close to the action and to start shopping as early as possible.

Sisters Taylah Bean, 19, and Ellie, 9, rented a room in a city hotel after driving down from the Mornington Peninsula yesterday with mum, Karen Bean.

Were from the Mornington Peninsula, so we stayed in the CBD just for the sales, Ms Bean said.