Retailers are reported to have experienced ‘huge’ online sales during the first few days of the Boxing Day sales.

According to the Australian National Retailers Association and GE Capital Christmas Retail Survey, overall spending is expected to be up about 2.5 per cent nationally on 2011.

ANRA CEO Margy Osmond said Boxing Day would be one of the busiest days for clothing and departments stores after seeing a large boost in online sales on Christmas Day.

"Retailers are reporting 'huge' online sales, with items across the range being snapped up by bargain hunters. No gloss has been taken off the in-store event, though, with numbers of shoppers reportedly bigger than 2011,” she said.

"Australians are becoming very savvy about sales, in previous years young people have taken on Boxing Day with fervour and while they continue to be well represented, other age groups are also making Boxing Day their number one shopping day of the year.”

This year, in particular, it’s men who were reported to be making a dent in Boxing Day shopping snapping up suits, shirts and casual clothes.

The National Retail Association (NRA) said the post-Christmas activities offered business owners the opportunity to build up their reserves, allowing them to keeping trading and providing employment throughout the quieter periods of the year.

“Retailers have reported that shoppers are starting to loosen their purse strings, and there is some optimism across the sector that retail sales in 2013 will show a modest improvement in sales over this year’s results,” Trevor Evans, NRA chief executive, said.

“We will also experience a ramp up in the employment of workers during these extended shopping hours, which will in turn generate some much-needed employment opportunities for many.”