Itís a Boxing Day tradition - the annual Clearance Sales. After barely recovering from the Christmas buying frenzy, we get back out there to snap up arms full of bargains.
With retailers reporting another tough year thanks to intensified pressure from online retailers, the Boxing Day Sales look set to be a shoppers bonanza.
All shops, from the department stores to the small boutiques see the sales as an opportunity to clear out their 2013 stock, and make way for the new seasonís ranges.
The major stores are already getting ready. Are you?
The epicentre of the sales is the Sydney CBD, around Pitt Street Mall. Myer, David Jones and Westfield are within a short stroll of each other, and surrounding them are hundreds of smaller retailers eager to win your dollar.
The two big retailers, Myer and David Jones, will be kicking things off early at their city stores, usually around 7 or 8am on the day after Christmas. For some, thatís not early enough as theyíll be there from the wee hours of the morning to get the best position. Sometimes, the retailers hand out Gift Cards to the earliest shoppers.
If you intend on being one of the early birds, you should start your planning weeks in advance.
Out with the old stock to make way for the new
By the start of December, the stores have their Clearance marketing well underway. They can predict what merchandise theyíll have left on Boxing Day, and what sort of reductions they can offer. They will also have locked in special purchases just for the sales, and know what prices theyíll be putting on the tickets.
This is obviously confidential information, however there are hundreds of people with access to it. And believe me, there is pillow talk. Secrets are discussed and shared. Often, the stores know each otherís bargains well before they are advertised. So if you are lucky enough to have inside information, youíll have a jump on the other bargain hunters.
It's dog-eat-dog, so you need to work out the best access.
Other ways of planning your strategy is to check the store layouts. See where access points are and pathways to the merchandise youíre after. For example, which is the closest door to the handbags? Should you take the stairs, elevator or escalator to the Shoe Department?
Ensure you know where your must-have items are located
Retailers often move stock around, so it pays to be up-to-date with the latest whereabouts of your must-have items.
You can also regularly check the stores to see if particular items are selling well or going slow before Christmas. If itís not moving, it will be reduced for the sales.
Pick up the newspaper on the way in
Ensure you pick up the newspaper on your way in to check the retailersí ads, and see what brands and categories have the best discounts.
Whatever bargains youíre aiming for, good luck.
Where: Sydney CBD around Pitt St Mall
Why: Shop early for the best bargains
Cost: Your credit card limit
When: 26 December - early.
I canít start planning now, as the Sydney Boxing day 2013 sales are now OVER Opps, I just missed them. What a shame. Never mind, Iíll go on living! Thereís always THIS years Boxing Day sales to look forward too, but Iíd rather look forward to a non P&O cruise, Sydney return, 33 nights.
Hi Amelia. I worked in an ad agency for one of the big retailers. A big team of us worked on the Boxing Day Sale ads for weeks in advance. Then there are the stores' own huge Buying Depts, Marketing Depts, Visual Merchandising and PR Depts. The radio and TV ads were recorded and edited well before Boxing Day. The printers receive the files to print catalogues, posters & flyers. The newspapers expect their files early to be ready over Christmas. I guarantee you, HUNDREDS of people have access to the info well before Boxing Day. I was asked many times what will be in the sales. Some people broke confidentiality. I never did.
To the person who e-mailed in their comment, in response to Amelia's comment below - can you please kindly re-submit? Somehow a bug occurred, dis-enabling me to publish the comment earlier - of which is now resolved.
Only the managers and high level staff have a clue as to what will be reduced for Boxing Day sales. I work in retail and as staff (as well as keen shoppers) we also find out on the day itself just like everyone else.
Also, save, save and save some more. Retailers will be flat out and won't be able to call other stores to put things on hold (and the stores I have tried calling during the period just won't be able to pick up). So make sure you have fuel and cash/credit because you just won't be able to put clearance items on hold.