Bargains of up to 50 per cent off usual prices expected to draw post-Christmas shoppers by the thousands.

Hundreds of thousands of bargain hunters are expected to make the most of the Boxing Day sales.

Reductions of up to 50 per cent are on offer today as retailers make the most of the spending frenzy.

Some stores started their sales early online - the Warehouse, Harvey Norman and Dick Smith all had their specials available online for those who spent Christmas Day staring at a computer screen.

And shops in Queen St in Auckland including Farmers, Bond & Bond, Just Jeans, Country Road, Portmans, Hallensteins, Glassons and Whitcoulls were all advertising ripper deals for when they open this morning.


Some have further reductions to items already on sale while others tout deals on everything in store.

Retailers will no doubt be wanting to make the most of the current spending trends.

Paymark figures show Christmas Eve spending was up 4.7 per cent on last year, which was a Saturday.

More than $201 million went through tills linked to its service, which handles about two-thirds of New Zealand's electronic transactions.

And last-minute Christmas shoppers set a new Eftpos record - hitting 132 transactions per second between 12pm and 1pm on Monday.

That compares to 131 per second in 2009, 130 per second in 2011 and 129 per second in 2010.

Paymark chief executive Simon Tong said the steady growth demonstrated New Zealanders had been organised with their shopping this year.

"We're seeing a healthy finish to the Christmas period, with just over $1.3 billion through the tills last week. In the past few days we've seen the spending growth rate decelerate slightly to become more in line with the average growth rate over the past 11 months."

Mr Tong said this showed that many avoided taking the last-minute shopping approach in the final days before Christmas.

But despite the strong growth, Auckland and Northland (up 1.9 per cent) and Wellington (down 1.6 per cent) saw annual growth rates drop below the earlier trend in the last week.

Eftpos sales

132 transactions per second on Christmas Eve this year
131 per second in 2009
130 per second in 2011
129 per second in 2010

Bargain hunt

*The Warehouse up to 40 per cent off whiteware
*Harvey Norman 50 per cent off whiteware
*Kathmandu 20 per cent extra off all sale stock
*Bond & Bond 20 per cent off some stock
*Country Road up to 50 per cent off
*Portman's 30 per cent extra off all sale stock
*Cotton on Body up to 50 per cent off
*Glassons up to 50 per cent off
*Whitcoulls 20 per cent off books
*Farmers up to 50 per cent off
*Danske Mobler up to 50 per cent off furniture