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Data dump: Consumer spending over the Christmas period

  • News
  • January 27, 2017
  • Bri Tither
 Data dump: Consumer spending over the Christmas period

Westpac senior economist Satish Ranchhod says:

“December is the peak time for retail spending in the New Zealand economy, and 2016 was no exception. As is typical at this time of year, households ramped up their spending on a range of items, with particularly large increases in spending on durable goods like home furnishings. There were also strong gains in spending on apparel and consumable items.”

In terms of total expenditure, the New Zealand Christmas Eve record from 2015 was smashed, according to figures from payment network Paymark. Transactions were up to 171 per second on Saturday 24 December, up from the 157 transactions per second recorded last year. The busiest hour for shoppers was 12pm - 1pm, when 543,000 transactions were put through.

New Zealanders also managed to spend a record $6 billion shopping in December, which is the highest-ever monthly figure recorded by Statistics New Zealand. Shoppers swiped their electronic cards and spent $304 million more than throughout December 2015, an increase of 5.3 per cent.

In true relaxed Kiwi fashion, it wouldn’t be Christmas without the quick dash to the stores for those last-minute presents. Kate Webby from Vend says Kiwi shoppers continue to leave their Christmas gift hunting to the last minute - the top-spending days of the holiday period were all in the last few days before Christmas, with the 23rd December the biggest spending day, as in previous years. 

We spoke with Jeff Hunkin, communications advisor from Trade Me, who informed us that Kiwis woke up on Christmas Day to toys, mobile phones, musical instruments and sports equipment as purchases as those items skyrocketed on Trade Me late December 2016. On the flipside, artwork, jewellery and DVDs proved less popular this time around, seeing a dip in the number of sales compared to the same period in 2015. He says activity surged throughout November and into mid-December as people bought gifts on Trade Me in the lead-up to the festive season. Christmas trading peaked in the week ending December 16 before quietening down as buyers allowed enough time for their presents to be delivered. The items that Kiwis searched for most on Trade Me at Christmas 2016 included something for everyone: iPhones and iPads; Nike and Adidas gear; trampolines; bikes; Karen Walker and Country Road apparel; Lego, and Hatchimals.

Information from Vend suggests that the high spending levels were driven by increased discounting by retailers. Vend’s data indicates discounting levels were 6 percent higher in the month leading up to Christmas than from Boxing Day into January.

“For the same period in 2015 discounting was 4 percent higher post-Christmas, so there’s clearly been a big shift in the last year,” Webby says. “This is might seem like good news for consumers, but retailers need to ensure they’re being strategic with their discounts, without cutting into their profits or the value of their brand and products down the line.”

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Fit-Out: Retreat to the Wine Cave

  • News
  • December 15, 2017
  • Sarah Dunn
Fit-Out: Retreat to the Wine Cave

A wine retail outlet like no other opened in Auckland’s Newmarket in October. The Wine Cave is intended to create a subterranean-feeling, luxurious atmosphere that showcases high-end wine to its best effect.

Read more
 
 

Amazon is coming

  • News
  • December 15, 2017
  • Greg Harford
Amazon is coming

If there's one word that strikes fear into the heart of many Kiwi retailers, it's "Amazon". This massive global business has enormous scale; a turnover nearly two and a half times that of the entire New Zealand retail sector; and a share price of nearly NZD$1,400.

Read more
 
 

Back in Time: Kowtow

  • News
  • December 15, 2017
Back in Time: Kowtow

Created in 2007 by Gosia Piatek, Kowtow launched from a small home-based dream to one of New Zealand’s most respected ethical brands as it celebrates its first decade in business.

Read more
 
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