Tasmanian shoppers hand over estimated $47.1m

PRE-Christmas sales did not stop shoppers from lining up outside many stores in Launceston's central business district early yesterday morning.

Shoppers hit the stores as early as 7am and were expected to spend $47.1 million across the state, both in store and online, just in the one day.

While many people thought pre-Christmas sales were good, the Boxing Day sales proved even better.

Take a further 30 per cent off, up to 50 per cent and even 80 per cent off red sale cards decked the windows of most stores in the CBD.

And people didn't want to miss out, with dozens of keen shoppers lining up in front of stores before their 7am, 8.30am and 9am opening times.

Friends April Quigley, Shelby Bullock and Stephanie Davies, got into the city at 8.30am to ensure they didn't miss any bargains.

"I've been buying clothes, jewellery and bathers," April, of Blackstone Heights, said.

"The sales have been really good ... probably the best."

The girls, all 16, said they found the best sales at Cotton On, Supre, Factory and Red Herring.

Honor Tomlin, of Launceston, had taken her two children and a family friend shopping and also said Red Herring had some of the best sales.

"There were lots of things for 50 per cent off," she said.

"The only bad thing is you couldn't get a park ... we got in here about quarter to 10."

For James Ballard it wasn't the shops he was in the city for, he wanted to make money.

The Launceston 20-year- old was busking in the mall and ended up making $204 for two hours' work.

"It's good fun to come out here and chill out and watch everyone," he said.

"It's gradually built up (with the people) over the hours.

"This is the most people I've ever seen in the city while I've been busking."

The Australian National Retailers Association predicted spending on Boxing Day sales across the nation would reach $1.9 billion, a 5.5 per cent increase on last year.

Victorians were expected to spend the most with $636 million predicted, followed by New South Wales shoppers spending $545 million.

The association estimated each Tasmanian would spend on average $106.30 on Boxing Day, the fourth highest in the country behind the Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory and Victoria.

It is estimated that Tasmania's total post- Christmas spend from Christmas Day to January 14 will be $311 million.

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