Sydney shoppers are outdoing their Melbourne counterparts when it comes to embracing the Boxing Day sales.
David Jones and Myer opened their city stores at 5am (AEDT) on Monday, with bargain hunters across Australia tipped to spend $1.7 billion.
The early indication is that cash registers in central Sydney are singing, particularly in the menswear and fashion sections.
However, in Melbourne, activity on Bourke Street is subdued.
Australian National Retailers Association chief executive Margy Osmond says better weather in Sydney is driving the turn-out.
"Sydney seems to be a little stronger this morning, certainly stronger than Melbourne," she told reporters at David Jones in Sydney.
"Some very unfortunate weather in Melbourne is perhaps giving shoppers a bit of a pause."
Ms Osmond said unseasonal cold weather on Australia's east coast was behind some heavy fashion discounting.
She said retailers are looking forward to a better year, following a subdued response from consumers to two pre-Christmas interest-rate cuts.
"Boxing Day is a very important indicator of the year to come and how willing people are actually to spend," she said, adding that the response had been "better than last year".
David Jones CEO Paul Zahra said the response has been the same as 2010.
"We've been pleasingly overwhelmed with the number of customers that have turned up this morning to shop with us," he told reporters.
"We're trading in line with what we've seen last year."
Handbags are selling for up to 60 per cent off, and electronic items are up to 25 per cent off.
"It's pleasing given the tough start to the retail sector this season," Mr Zahra said.