Black Friday bargains that have already started
Black Friday discounting has already started as shoppers prepare for a retail bonanza that could be as big as the massive Boxing Day sales.
With less than one month to go until Christmas, bargain hunters have started to pounce on early discounts of up to 75 per cent across a range of goods including clothing, shoes, manchester, electronics, jewellery and whitegoods.
The Australian Retailers Association's executive director Russell Zimmerman said the two key days - Black Friday, which technically starts tomorrow, and Cyber Monday - would likely merge into four days of discounts on offer by many stores.
"Black Friday and Cyber Monday is expected to be almost as big as Boxing Day," he said. "Some retailers may find it even bigger than Boxing Day."
The sales, both instore and online, are hoped to deliver a much-needed cash injection through retailers' tills after a sluggish year of consumer spending.
In the 12 months to September retail sales grew by just 2.81 per cent compared to growth of 3.8 per cent in the previous 12 months.
JB Hi-Fi marketing director Gary Siewert said he expects Black Friday to be the electronic giant's "fastest growing event and it will be one of our biggest trading days of the year outside Boxing Day".
"Our big deals will be rolled out on Friday," he said.
Shoppers wondering whether to buy now or wait until the fiesta officially begins can rest assured that many discounts which have already started will remain effective through until Monday.
While the best deals are in many cases unlikely to fall further, it gives shoppers more time to think through their purchasing before whipping out their card or cash.
Some well known brands including Country Road, Seed and Peter Alexander will offer 20 per cent off items.
Cue, Saba, Sportscraft, Jag, Diesel, Joanne Mercer and Suzanne Grae will offer 25 per cent off.
Some of these discounts have already started while some will begin on Friday.
And homewares chain House is offering some of the biggest discounts of up to 75 per cent off selected items.
Westfield's regional brand relationship manager Michelle Clarkson said hundreds of thousands of shoppers were expected at their 32 locations nationally.
"This is going to be a very big sales moment, we have more sales offers than ever before," she said.
"We have literally hundreds of retailer offers, so if you haven't commenced your Christmas shopping what a great time to do so.
"We are looking at is as almost a second Boxing Day in terms of the offers that are available."
The shopping event originated in the US but has grown to become a significant sales period in Australia in recent years.
Mr Zimmerman urged shoppers to support Australian retailers but to only to spend within their means.
"Get out there and buy, but it's not a bargain or a sale unless you can afford it and use it," he said.
And he said it won't be the last opportunity for consumers to snap up discounted goods ahead of December 25.
"There will still be bargains in the lead up to Christmas but if you want to get the major bargains you should get them now," Mr Zimmerman said.
Latest statistics from accounting software firm MYOB found the main methods shoppers will use to pay this Christmas is debit card (36 per cent), credit card (32 per cent), cash (18 per cent).
Other methods like buy now, pay later schemes Afterpay, Zip Pay and Humm will also be popular, allowing consumers to take away their items and pay them off at a later date.