Australians outspent experts’ predictions on Boxing Day, according to a December 27 media release from the Australian Retailers Association (ARA).

More than an estimated $2 billion was spent by shoppers Down Under during retail hours on December 26 this year.

Many retailers in Australia were overwhelmed by the number of bargain hunters, with a number of businesses having to restrict and control entry into their stores due to occupancy issues, ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman revealed.

“Many shoppers spent hours waiting in lines – lining up to get into the store and lining up to make their purchases,” he said.

However, waiting times did not deter Australians from snapping up the Boxing Day bargains.

Indeed, sales were so strong, ARA has forecast an almost 4 per cent rise on last year’s $14.5 billion spending from Boxing Day through to mid-January.

“If sales continue like those we saw yesterday throughout the post-Christmas period, the $15.1 billion predicted in sales will be exceeded,” Mr Zimmerman said.

This figure would result in Australians spending an average of $726.51 per person before January 15.

The Northern Territory is expected to record the highest growth in average spend, increasing by 4.2 per cent on last year’s figures.

Western Australia is the only area that is forecast to experience a decrease in average expenditure, falling by 1.3 per cent.

However, WA should still record one of the highest rates of spending in the country, falling from $734.34 in 2012-13 to $725.01 this year season.

With retail stores across Australia experiencing record volumes of customer activity, the ARA wished to acknowledge the dedicated and hard working employees behind the successful transactions and spending boosts.

“Rather than spending time with family and friends, retail staff are at the coal face, as shoppers navigate crowded stores,” Mr Zimmerman said.