Five crazy things that you didn’t know about Boxing Day sales

Sarah Neate 13 December 2016 NEWS

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The Boxing Day sales are an avid shopper's dream and everyone else's over-crowded nightmare.

Popular for bargains on electronics, fashion and more, Boxing Day is one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

We did some digging on this popular bargain-hunting, record-spending day and found out a few interesting tidbits we were keen to share:

1. Shoppers queue from as early as 24 December

That's right, from before Christmas. Talking to the UK's Telegraph, Harrods' employee Danny Suarez states that the "keenest shoppers are sitting there throughout Christmas Day". Having manned the doors at Harrods for the last eight years, he's a rather reliable source. "Some will have queued for two to three days before," he says "They leave their sleeping bags to grab some food".

2. Boxing Day is not a thing in the USA

Commonwealth nations like Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the UK celebrate Boxing Day and get a public holiday, but it's not acknowledged in the USA. Traditionally Boxing Day was a day of charitable giving (often to servants or servicemen), similar to a modern day Christmas or end-of-year bonus. In recent times the holiday is associated with excessive sales shopping, similar to the USA's Black Friday.

3. Online shoppers start (relatively) early in the morning too

We're all used to seeing stories about queues in the wee hours outside David Jones and Myer, but it turns out people shop in the morning online too - though thankfully at slightly more civilised hours. Our research found that most people are shopping online between 8am-10am on Boxing Day in Australia, so if you want to get in first and grab a bargain, you're best logging on at the crack of dawn. So go easy on the Christmas champagne!

4. There is debate over whether stores should open or not

There's an ongoing debate around whether bricks-and-mortar stores should even be open on Boxing Day, which is a public holiday.

A current petition in the UK garnered over 140,000 signatures against opening, on the basis that shops may exploit low-paid retail workers who have already worked long hours in the pre-Christmas rush.

In New South Wales protesters have taken to the street to rally against proposed laws to extend trading hours on Boxing Day. Until 2015, Boxing Day trading was only allowed in the CBD. The New South Wales Retailer Association is keen to make the change permanent outside the CBD, but retail workers are trying to avoid that, as it's a day they can spend time with their family.

5. Boxing Day is so big it has turned into an entertainment event

Iconic London department store Harrods have made entertainment part of its Boxing Day shopping experience. Each year there is a show, with past acts including Florence Welch, a performance from the entire cats of Elf the Musical and entertainment from former Britain's Got Talent magician Dynamo. No details on 2016's performance yet.


Thousands of smart Australians have started their Boxing Day sales planning early this year, following the increasing success of sales events like Black Friday and Click Frenzy.

At finder.com.au, we're strong believers in staying comfortably on the sofa on Boxing Day, so we'd recommend shopping all the sales online.

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