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HomeNEWSRetail statistics from 2016 and the leap year effect

Retail statistics from 2016 and the leap year effect

BNZ has released its latest statistics on the amount of online spending by New Zealanders compared to last year. We also look at how the leap year affected reporting.

BNZ has released its latest statistics on the amount of online spending by New Zealanders compared to last year. We also look at how the leap year affected reporting.

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According to BNZ, total online spending in February was up an impressive 14 percent compared to February of 2016.

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But how does a leap year come into effect? According to BNZ, even just one extra day shopping can boost sales by 3 percent – given certain variables.

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Purchases from international online retailers were also up 16 percent. And unsurprisingly, clothing and electronic stores were at the top for New Zealand visitors.

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But those weren’t the only ones to see growth, the cosmetic purchase sector popularity rose just over 40 percent. With sites like Strawberry.net and BeautyBay quickly dominating the industry it is not a surprise that buying cosmetics online has grown.

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Spending at local online retailers was up 12 percent on February last year, significantly stronger than the year-on-year growth rate at bricks and mortar stores (approximately 0.1 percent).

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The thing that happens when a leap year comes round means that data can be heavily effected by that one extra day.

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Retail figures, for example, have a lot of issues when it comes to including a leap year in their numbers, as survey periods tend to be in four or five week stretches rather than a calendar month.

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So it is common that February sales coming out of a leap year can often show a healthy increase. An oddity for the usually slow part of the retail year.

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The data that will be interesting will be March’s retail spending, with Easter falling mid-April.

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According to Stats NZ for the March quarter 2013, 2014 and 2015 were all up between 0.7 and 0.5 percent. Whereas the same time in a leap year sales rose 3 percent. 

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