New electronic card data has revealed that retails spends in Hamilton reached $182 million in the last three months of 2020.
Despite Covid-19 putting the country into a recession, many of Hamilton’s retailers finished the year at an all time high. So much so, that last year demonstrated the strongest fourth quarter figures of the past decade.
Hamilton Central Business Association manager, Vanessa Williams, says the city and the wider Waikato have bounced back well from the pandemic which the latest spending figures reflect.
“Don’t get me wrong, for the entire year we were down. But when you think two quarters were impacted by the lockdown, I think the growth we’re seeing is very positive.”
The electronic card spending data shows $619m was spent in Hamilton’s CBD in 2020, down from $648m in 2019, and $659 in 2018.
However, breaking down the spending figures shows that CBD shoppers are spending more in stores, with the average spend per transaction increasing from $108 in 2019 to $112 in 2020.
Specialty shops, food and beverage outlets, and homeware and hardware stores all experienced strong sales during the final months of 2020.
Williams says coming out of lockdown, many retailers didn’t know what to expect and wondered if people would be more cautious with spending their money.
“We’re not through this, we all know that, but there have been some really great recovery stories.
“We are definitely finding that specialty retailers with expansion plans have Hamilton high on their shopping list.”