Holiday opening hours of major Aussie retailers

Different sight at Boxing Day sales

It's one of the biggest and busiest shopping days of the year in Australia, when eager bargain hunters brave crowds in search of the most generous discounts.

But some stores in Sydney were nearly empty on Boxing Day morning, as shoppers heeded warnings to stay away while NSW battles to contain its second coronavirus outbreak.

Photos taken on Saturday morning captured only a few people roaming Sydney's shopping precincts.

Many of those who did venture out followed advice to wear masks, and stores offered hand sanitiser for customers.

Shoppers wore masks in Pitt Street Mall during the Boxing Day sales. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Jenny Evans
Shoppers wore masks in Pitt Street Mall during the Boxing Day sales. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Jenny Evans

 

Market Street in Sydney was nearly empty on Boxing Day morning. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Jenny Evans
Market Street in Sydney was nearly empty on Boxing Day morning. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Jenny Evans

 

Those who did head out took precautions, including these shoppers on Market Street. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Jenny Evans
Those who did head out took precautions, including these shoppers on Market Street. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Jenny Evans

Paul Zahra, CEO of the Australian Retailers Association, said traffic into the Sydney CBD was at a "record low" on Boxing Day morning.

"Normally people would queue up as early as Christmas Day night to get into the stores, but this year's been a very different year, being a COVID year of course and with Gladys's commentary," he told Sky News Australia.

"It's certainly had an impact on the CBD locations this morning".

Shoppers visited David Jones on Elizabeth Street in search of a Boxing Day bargain. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Jenny Evans
Shoppers visited David Jones on Elizabeth Street in search of a Boxing Day bargain. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Jenny Evans

 

Shoppers wearing masks carrying bags are seen in Hyde Park during Boxing Day Sales. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Jenny Evans
Shoppers wearing masks carrying bags are seen in Hyde Park during Boxing Day Sales. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Jenny Evans

Mr Zahra said online shopping would offer an alternative for many customers affected by coronavirus restrictions.

"The majority of retailers offer the absolute same bargains that you would see in a store online," he said.

"In fact, the online performance across all retailers are saying there've been record highs this Christmas".

On Friday, Premier Gladys Berejiklian discouraged people from making their way into the city to shop on Boxing Day.

"We know this is not the easiest message to give to those retailers but we want to discourage people go to the CBD tomorrow," she said.

"If you're going shopping in the CBD, make sure you wear a mask."

Her warning came as the Sydney outbreak grew to to 118 - 108 of which are associated with the Avalon cluster.

Sweeping restrictions are already in place for the northern beaches, including caps on visitor numbers and venue capacities.

Originally published as Different sight at Boxing Day sales


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