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Australians Spend Big Despite The Cost-of-Living Crunch

Australians are projected to splurge $1.25 billion on Boxing Day deals despite the cost-of-living crisis.

The Australian Retailers Association predicted that, with the entire sales period from December 26 to January 15 expected to rake in a staggering $23.9 billion, reflecting a 1.6 per cent increase from the previous year.

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Paul Zahra, the head of the Australian Retailers Association, compared Boxing Day to the “grand final of Australia’s favourite sport shopping”.

Australia’s largest bank predicted that almost half of the population, approximately one in two people, would participate in the sales, collectively spending an estimated $4.6 billion. 

However, Commonwealth Bank’s personal finance expert, Jess Irvine, noted that while more people planned to shop this year, the average planned spend was slightly down compared to 2022. 

Shoppers in Sydney, aimed to spend just over $475.70 on average, down from $483.20 the previous year.

The demographic driving the Boxing Day shopping frenzy is predominantly those aged 39 and under, according to data from a recent CommBank IQ cost-of-living report. 

Younger Australians are reportedly feeling the most financial strain from rising prices, prompting them to be more cautious with their spending.

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“Aussie household budgets are being squeezed on multiple fronts, so it is not surprising that individual shoppers are tightening their belts,” Miss Irvine said.

The nation’s major department stores, such as David Jones, braced for one of the busiest days on the shopping calendar. 

David Jones anticipated up to one million customers both in-store and online during the week-long bargain period.

“In the lead up to Christmas, shoppers are focused on buying gifts for their family and loved ones. Post-Christmas, Australians typically turn their minds to purchases for themselves and their household, focused on snagging a bargain,” Mr Zahra said.

However, NSW Fair Trading issued a warning to consumers to be aware of their rights. 

Buyers experiencing buyer’s remorse or seeking to return unwanted gifts are reminded that they may be entitled to a repair, replacement, or refund if a product does not meet acceptable quality standards, match the description, or serve its intended purpose.

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