Myer EFTPOS drama as Boxing Day sales continue

 

Exclusive: Shoppers at Myer have faced an IT glitch, which temporarily prevented them from buying items in-store via EFTPOS.

The outage was being experienced nationally, with shoppers being forced to go and get cash out at ATMs as Myer staff held on to their Boxing Day sale items.

It's unclear how widespread the issue is but News Corp understands the outage went on for around an hour before it was back up and running.

Savvy shoppers are tipped to splash a massive $2.53 billion at the Boxing Day sales today.

New figures compiled by the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and Roy Morgan have forecast Boxing Day sales to increase 2.86 per cent on last year.

Despite the rise, it's the lowest yearly growth in the past decade.

And the biggest winners will be retailers in Tasmania with sales up 4.5 per cent and NSW rising by 3.17 per cent.

Shoppers walk the streets during the Boxing Day sales in the Sydney CBD. Pcitre: AAP
Shoppers walk the streets during the Boxing Day sales in the Sydney CBD. Pcitre: AAP

 

Myer shoppers today in Sydney where crowds appear to be down but shoe stores were popular. Picture: John Grainger
Myer shoppers today in Sydney where crowds appear to be down but shoe stores were popular. Picture: John Grainger

 

Barricades are used to block streets around Pitt Street Mall, George Street and Elizabeth Streets during the Boxing Day sales in the Sydney CBD. Picture: AAP
Barricades are used to block streets around Pitt Street Mall, George Street and Elizabeth Streets during the Boxing Day sales in the Sydney CBD. Picture: AAP

The amount consumers are tipped to outlay includes $815 million in NSW, $802 million in Victoria, $425 million in Queensland, $220 million in Western Australia, $135 million in South Australia, $57 million in Tasmania, $53 million in the ACT and $24 million in the Northern Territory.

Boxing Day is also forecast to become the busiest day on the National Broadband Network system.

Last Boxing Day, NBN registered an average amount of data consumed per household of 11.8GB, which meant a 69 per cent increase on the daily average of 6.98GB per household during 2018.

Boxing Day sales at Sunshine Plaza. Picture: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily
Boxing Day sales at Sunshine Plaza. Picture: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily

 

Thousands of people shopped at Harbour Town in Queensland, with huge traffic jams for miles around. Picture: Tertius Pickard.
Thousands of people shopped at Harbour Town in Queensland, with huge traffic jams for miles around. Picture: Tertius Pickard.

 

A slowing economy, ongoing sales and drought and fires are among the reasons to be blamed for subdued spending both online and in bricks and mortar stores.

The ARA's executive director Russell Zimmerman said it had been a "sluggish year" for retailers and consumers were "not overly confident".

"I'm expecting it to be reasonably good but not as necessarily as huge as it has been in other years," he said.

"This is because of the horrific fires and the drought across most of Australia."

Sisters Abbey and Sophie Harries shopping at the Boxing Day sales in The Gold Coast’s Pacific Fair centre. Picture: Tertius Pickard
Sisters Abbey and Sophie Harries shopping at the Boxing Day sales in The Gold Coast’s Pacific Fair centre. Picture: Tertius Pickard

Underpinning the forecast rise are strong sales of clothing and footwear and small household goods, with some retailers reducing full-priced items by as much as 50 per cent.

Mr Zimmerman urged shoppers to be calm and "to get in early because the good things always go first".

Myer's executive general manager of stores Tony Sutton said Boxing Day was their biggest sale day of the year and more than 1.6 million customers are expected to visit their 61 stores nationally.

Early morning sales shoppers enter David Jones Marion store at 9am in Adelaide. Picture: AAP
Early morning sales shoppers enter David Jones Marion store at 9am in Adelaide. Picture: AAP

Some of their flagship stores open as early as 5am including in Sydney and Melbourne's city centres and the first 300 early risers in each state will be rewarded with a special Myer Gold Ticket and the chance to win prizes as well as a gift voucher with value up to $30.

"Our stocktake sale will have fantastic promotions across men's and women's fashion, home and entertainment with great offers on some of our biggest brands like Bose, KitchenAid and LG TVs, to name a few," Mr Sutton said.

In the first week of post-Christmas sales Myer expects to sell 135,000 bras and 140,000 briefs.

Shoppers in the cosmetics section of Myer in the Bourke Street Mall at the Boxing Day sales in Melbourne. Picture: David Crosling
Shoppers in the cosmetics section of Myer in the Bourke Street Mall at the Boxing Day sales in Melbourne. Picture: David Crosling

While for menswear on Boxing Day alone the department store expects to sell 40,000 T-shirts, 22,000 shorts, 18,000 polo shirts and 2000 suits.

David Jones's general manager of children's clothing, menswear and homewares Chris Wilson said for the first time this year they would roll out timed sales on Boxing Day which only last a few hours instore.

"It's the first time we are doing a short, sharp offer from 6am on Boxing Day for four hours," he said.

"That will include taking 50 per cent off the recommended retail price of the Kitchen Aid and a great range of luggage which includes Samonsite and Antler," he said.

Kristen Kajewski, 22, Narangbah, finds a bargain at the Boxing day sales, David Jones Queens Plaza, Brisbane. Picture: Liam Kidston
Kristen Kajewski, 22, Narangbah, finds a bargain at the Boxing day sales, David Jones Queens Plaza, Brisbane. Picture: Liam Kidston

 

Shoppers line up in front of the Myer store in Melbourne. Picture: David Crosling
Shoppers line up in front of the Myer store in Melbourne. Picture: David Crosling

 

The department chain opened some stores from 6am on Boxing Day and is focused on clearing out stock in areas including men and women's clothing and homewares.

During the post-Christmas sales which will run about three weeks, David Jones expects to see more than one million men's business shirts sold, along with more than 600,000 pieces of intimate apparel and hosiery, 150,000 Lego sets, 85,000 units of loose dinnerware, 70,000 small appliances and 45,000 gadgets.

 

Apun Khanna from St Kilda West, 34 and Sinchit Takkar, Hallam, 30, shopping for perfume in Myer in Melbourne. Picture: David Crosling
Apun Khanna from St Kilda West, 34 and Sinchit Takkar, Hallam, 30, shopping for perfume in Myer in Melbourne. Picture: David Crosling

 

Mr Wilson said there would be limited stock so customers "have to get in and get in quick".

And JB Hi-FI has discounts across big brands including Apple, Samsung, Google, Sony, Garmin, Fitbit, Microsoft, Go Pro, HP, LG, Beats, Sonos, Bose and Dyson.

Australian retail magnate Gerry Harvey said they'll be plenty of bargains to be had at his stores on Boxing Day.

Entertainers in front of the Myer store in the Bourke St Mall. Picture: David Crosling
Entertainers in front of the Myer store in the Bourke St Mall. Picture: David Crosling

He expects strong sales but not a huge difference in sales numbers on last year.

"It's one of those years where retail is a bit more subdued than it has been in years gone by," Mr Harvey said.

"At the moment air purifiers have been a huge hit and there's practically not one left in Australia."

Westfield's regional brand relationship manager Michelle Clarkson said they are expecting thousands of people to flood through their 37 locations nationally today.

She urged shoppers to be organised before hitting the stores.

 

David Jones in the Bourke Street Mall at the Boxing Day sales in Melbourne. Picture: David Crosling
David Jones in the Bourke Street Mall at the Boxing Day sales in Melbourne. Picture: David Crosling

 

"Customers should really think about what they want to do before they come in to make sure they make the most of their visit," Ms Clarkson said.

"They can get amazing offers from our fantastic retailers but they can also think about whether they want to catch a new release movie or there's dining options as well so they can make the most of their day."

New data from the Tourism and Transport Forum and Pure Profile revealed 36 per cent of Australians prefer in-store shopping.

The survey, of 1000 people, also showed 40 per cent like to pay for their purchases with cash.

sophie.elsworth@news.com.au

@sophieelsworth

BOXING DAY SALES PREDICTIONS

NSW $815 million +3.17%

Vic $802 million +2.2%

Qld $425 million +3.8%

SA $135 million +2.5%

WA $220 million +2.1%

Tas $57 million 4.5%

NT $24 million 1.3%

ACT $53 million 3.7%

National $2.53 billion +2.86%

Source: Roy Morgan/Australian Retailers Association.

BOXING DAY & POST-CHRISTMAS SALES

Category 2018 Post Xmas sales 2019 Post Xmas sales Forecast growth

• Food $7.515 billion $7.727 billion +2.8%

• Household goods $3.073 billion $3.094 billion +0.7%

• Clothing, footwear $1.422 billion $1.47 billion +3.4%

and accessories

• Department stores $1.038 billion $1.048 billion +1%

• Other retailing $2.636 billion $2.712 billion +2.92%

• Hospitality $2.612 billion $2.67 billion +2.2*

NATIONAL $18.962 billion $18/721 billion +2.86%

Source: Roy Morgan/Australian Retailers Association.

Crowds at the Boxing Day sales in Sydney. Picture John Grainger
Crowds at the Boxing Day sales in Sydney. Picture John Grainger

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