By AINSLEY THOMSON

The Boxing Day sales promise many enticing bargains - but be quick, the queues are forming.

KMart, in Westfield St Lukes shopping centre, expects about 150 people to be waiting outside when the shop opens at 9 this morning.

Manager Jason Picard predicts that about 8000 people will buy something in his store today - more than double a normal day. Not to mention all those who will browse but not buy anything.

Mr Picard says Boxing Day is the biggest sales day after those leading up to Christmas.

The top sale items are likely to be the half-price Christmas decorations and food and heavily discounted summer clothing.

Over Christmas and New Year the store employs an extra 80 staff to cope with the influx of customers.

Briscoes Homeware general manager David Drees says that over the past four years the Boxing Day sale has grown faster than any other day of the year.

Although not as big as the days before Christmas, it now rivals the Easter sales, he says.

"Shopping is very much a part of the Kiwi culture. Ban them for a day on Christmas Day and they can't wait to get back into it the day after."

Mr Drees says there are always queues outside Briscoes stores on Boxing Day, partly because of shoppers keen to get a bargain and partly because the shops open an hour later then usual.