Prices have been slashed by up to 70 per cent at some of New Zealand's biggest stores today for what's expected to be the biggest shopping day of the year.

The five Westfield shopping centres across Auckland and Christchurch will see countless pairs of feet march through looking for bargains today, said New Zealand regional manager Linda Trainer.

"We're expecting literally hundreds of thousands of people to come through our doors."


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Trainer promised unmissable bargains, with Westfield retailers embracing Boxing Day as a huge draw for shoppers.

"It's a crazy busy wonderful day where everyone can come in and get that bargain."

Sensible shoes were a good idea, as was coming early to try and get a jump on the throngs of thrifty customers searching the malls for deals, she said.

"Try to pre-plan your visit. If you go on to our website you will find store location maps, you'll see what deals are available in the centres and parking information."

It was too early to tell whether this year would be a record-setting day of sales, but feedback from retailers indicated the pre-Christmas lead-up had been a healthy one this year, Trainer said.

Westfield shopping centres will be open from 9am to 7pm today.

Last year Kiwis spent more than ever before on Boxing Day, setting a record $152.7 million of spending through Paymark, according to the company's figures.

It was a 1.9 per cent increase in spending on 2015.

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Pre-Christmas spending has risen again this year, with expectations the holiday period could be another record year for retailers.

On Thursday Kiwis spent $282.4 million in a single day, with 178 transactions per second during the peak which occurred just after noon - a new record.

Kiwis have been spending up big in the weeks before Christmas, with a peak spend rate of 178 transactions a second according to Paymark figures for Thursday. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Kiwis have been spending up big in the weeks before Christmas, with a peak spend rate of 178 transactions a second according to Paymark figures for Thursday. Photo / Jason Oxenham

Major retailers are embracing the sale day.

The Warehouse's communications manager Becki Butler said there would be bargains store-wide, including 10 per cent off iPhones, 50 to 60 per cent off Daewoo appliances and Veon 32" TVs selling for $189.

Buy one get one half price deals would also be available for men's and women's clothing, toys and a range of outdoor gear.

"Our Boxing Day bargains will be available online from 9pm Christmas Eve and most stores open at 7am on Boxing Day," Butler said.

Jason Bell, merchandise manager at Noel Leeming, said Boxing Day was the biggest trading day of the year.

• READ MORE: Xmas shoppers spend $282.4 mill in one day, break electronic transaction records

Stores would be offering 20 per cent off everything Panasonic, 25 per cent off Fisher and Paykel products and 50 per cent off all Sunbeam appliances.

Nespresso products would be selling for 30 per cent off, Bell said.

On top of the brand-specific deals, one-off "huge savings" could be made on several gadgets including $300 off the Samsung Galaxy S8 which would be retailing for $849 and $1000 off LG's 60" TV which was reduced from $2499 to $1499.

Specials are available online from 7pm Christmas Eve, with stores opening at 7.30am today.

Cotton On and Kathmandu were offering up to 50 per cent off on goods in store, and Bendon was advertising up to 60 per cent off lingerie.

Harvey Norman had a range of deals, including a front-loading Electrolux washing machine for under $500.

Music and electronics shop JB HiFi was also offering a range of deals, including a discount on an upmarket Bose bluetooth speaker, selling for $188.

At Farmers, staff were getting everything set up on Christmas Eve for today after the doors shut at 6pm. Head of marketing Dean Cook promised plenty of great deals, saying the department store was "definitely worth a visit".

The Boxing Day sale started online from midnight Christmas Day and included 60 per cent off Goldair, Sunbeam small appliances, Sleepyhead balance beds and some beach towels.

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Manchester was half price, as was tableware, kitchenware, some vacuum cleaners and Playsafe trampolines.

Christmas decorations were 70 per cent off.

Rod Duke, spokesman for Briscoes and Rebel Sport, was tightlipped on details, but promised customers could expect to save big at both brands' stores.

"It's our biggest day of the year," he said. "Both brands will be on serious sale, as we are every Boxing Day."

Glassons, Hallensteins and Storm would also be offering Boxing Day sale bargains, with Hallensteins offering shorts from $20, T-shirts for $10 and shirts for $20.

DEAL, DEALS, DEALS: Some of the best offers this Boxing Day

• Ten per cent off iPhones at the Warehouse

• Up to 60 per cent off bras and underwear at Bendon

• Up to 50 per cent off at Cotton On and Kathmandu

• 50 per cent off all Sunbeam appliances at Noel Leeming

• 60 per cent off Sunbeam and Goldair small appliances at Farmers

• $10 Tshirts at Hallensteins

• Half-price manchester at Farmers

• Bose Mini Bluetooth Speaker selling for $188 at JB HiFi

• Nearly 50 per cent off an Electrolux front-loading washing machine at Harvey Norman, selling for under $500