Nerves and tension were felt while breaths were held by retailers during the Christmas period but it appears that retailers are remaining steady in this sales period.

While no real indication is available until the release of ABS retail trade figures for November next week, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) said retailers were mainly positive about the post Christmas sales period so far and were discounting further to clear their stock as consumers shop steadily and hold out for the big bargains.

ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman said retailers had enjoyed a steady post Christmas sales period and were hopeful of budgets being achieved as consumers continued a steady shopping marathon.

“The ARA predicted consumers would spend $14.1 billion over the post Christmas sales period and retailer anecdotes suggest consumers are still on target to spend this,” he said.

“Shoppers are pacing themselves and thinking about their buying strategy so they can take advantage of bargains throughout the entire sales period which should last until mid January, but what we’re hearing from retailers is they’re fairly confident they will meet budgets for the period.

“Gone are the days where consumers sprinted to the stores at the crack of dawn on Boxing Day. However consumers are still out there, shopping often and seeking out all the bargains to be had during this period.”

A first was also seen during the start of the sales period when Myer decided to launch its Boxing Day sales online at midnight – five hours earlier before it opened its doors to the Boxing Day sales crowd.

“Retailers with an online presence also found they were able to offer their online customers a shopping experience from as early as Christmas Day,” Zimmerman said.

“Many shoppers forewent the traditional post Christmas lunch nap and instead logged onto their favourite online stores to cast an early line for bargains.”