Crowds shy away from Boxing Day sales as COVID-19 cases surge

Crowds have shied away from Boxing Day sales this year as COVID-19 cases continue to rise across Australia.

Small groups of people headed to major retailers in Sydney this morning in comparison to the usual hoards of people bursting through shopping centre doors at the crack of dawn.

Only about 50 people were seen at the Sydney City Myer store about 6am this morning with similar numbers at the flagship David Jones store.

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Smaller crowds head to the Boxing Day sales in Sydney.Smaller crowds head to the Boxing Day sales in Sydney.

In Melbourne, early risers headed to the fashion capital at Chadstone to find some bargains.

Shoppers were also spotted at the Bourke Street Mall in Melbourne with large bags full of Boxing Day sale purchases.

However, crowds were also noticeably smaller in both locations than in previous years.

The smaller crowds can be attributed to the rise in COVID-19 case numbers across the country and fears of spread in large crowds.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 26: Early risers line up outside a store to catch the Boxing Day sales at Chadstone the Fashion Capital  during the Boxing Day sales on December 26, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. Australians celebrate Boxing Day with many taking advantage of the post-Christmas sale prices in what is usually the busiest day of the year for retailers in Australia. In Sydney, thousands of people usually gather around and on the harbour to watch the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht

COVID-19 cases are continuing to surge across Australia, particularly in New South Wales.

NSW recorded 6394 new cases today with a rise in hospitalisations, from 388 to 458.

Meanwhile, Victorian COVID-19 cases have significantly dropped as the state recorded 1608 new infections.

Two people died with the virus.

READ MORE: NSW sees another rise in COVID-19 cases as Victoria records drop in infections

Boxing Day sales at the Bourke street Mall. 26th December 2021 The Age news Picture by Joe Armao

Australians are expected, however, to spend big this Boxing Day despite smaller crowds heading to the shops this year.

More people will be nabbing bargains through online shopping this year instead.

Experts are predicting $4 billion will go through the tills.

It comes with a warning from the banks though, to set a budget especially when using buy now pay later services.

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