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Cashing up: the top five economic retail facts you need to know about

  • News
  • October 14, 2015
  • Elly Strang
Cashing up: the top five economic retail facts you need to know about

1. Retail spend on electronic cards is growing stronger and stronger

 There were 122 million transactions on electronic cards in September, up 7 percent from a year earlier.

The average value of transactions was $49, with 55.2 percent spent on debit cards and the rest spent on credit.

Electronic cards have far surpassed cash spending in core retail sales. They now make up 67.8 percent of core sales and 61.7 percent of total sales processed in New Zealand.

This announcement comes after hype surrounding the new banknotes release, yet less than half of shoppers are still using cash to pay for shopping.

The Reserve Bank’s deputy governor and head of operations, Geoff Bascand, recently said only about 30 per cent of retail spending was now in cash.

Despite this, the Reserve Bank says at the end of June, cash in the hands of the public jumped 7.6 percent, so cash is worth investing in.

Retailers should take note of the prevalence of card spend, particularly if they haven’t updated to the latest POS systems, like contactless payments.

2. Food prices are creeping up

Food prices were up 0.7 percent in September, slightly above August’s 0.4 percent increase.

Restaurant meals and reader-to-eat food prices had a considerable increase, rising 2 percent, while grocery food prices were down 1.5 percent due to lower prices for things like milk, yoghurt and cheese.
 

3. Retailers are feeling more optimistic

Despite overall business confidence hitting a four-year low, retailers are in positive spirits in the three months ended September 30.

A net 7 percent of retailer surveyed in New Zealand Institute of Economic Research’s quarterly survey were expecting improved sales, while a net 10 percent expected sales to improve in the next six months, up from a net two percent.

This may be a result of core retail sales hitting $4.03 billion in September, an increase of 1.2 percent.
 

4. Consumers aren’t feeling as optimistic

The outlook for economic activity in the next couple of months isn’t buoyant, while consumer confidence has hit a three-year low.

Household spending growth is slowing from around 3.8 percent over the past year. 

Westpac senior economist Satish Ranchhod expects this to drop a little below two percent.

"While high levels of migration and strong tourist demand continue to provide support for retail activity, over the coming months we do expect to see some softening in spending growth," Ranchhod says.

"Consumer confidence has fallen sharply, and a likely softening in economic growth will weigh on employment and earnings growth over the coming year."
 

5. But other factors may get consumers opening their wallets more

BNZ’s latest report is slightly more positive than the doom and gloom predicted by many.

It reported retail spending in September was up 5.5 percent on last year, bolstered by strong school holidays spending, while spending for the year is up 2.5 percent on the year previous.

Wednesday 30 September in particular was impressive, with a 17.9 percent increase in spending compared to last year.

It also attributed good sales to warmer weather encouraging more shoppers to the streets.

In the week ending 4 October, there were 5.5 percent more transactions made than the previous year.

If sunshine and holidays are two factors that encourage more spending, things are looking up for retailers in the next quarter.

​ ​

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Michael Hill International posts $17m profit

  • News
  • August 22, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Michael Hill International posts $17m profit

Jewellery retailer Michael Hill International has reported a lift in profit but is feeling the pinch of lower sales and squeezed margins.

Read more
 
 

Dylan Mulder explores new digital frontiers in the fashion world

  • Design
  • August 22, 2019
  • Findlay Buchanan
Dylan Mulder explores new digital frontiers in the fashion world

“What might a Louis Vuitton or Off-White digital piece of clothing be like?” Matthew Drinkwater, head of the Fashion Innovation Agency at London College of Fashion, mused to Vogue in April earlier this year. The question came in the wake of Carlings, a multi brand Scandinavian retailer, selling out its first digital-only clothing line. The process saw fashion designers manipulate photos of customers, so it appeared as though they were dressed up in Carlings' apparel. Customers would then go on to share the photos of themselves on digital platforms, Instagram, Facebook, and the rest, without actually having to wear the clothes.

Read more
 
 

Gem Retail Hotlist: Be Free Grocer flourishes in Palmerston North

  • News
  • August 21, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Gem Retail Hotlist: Be Free Grocer flourishes in Palmerston North

Retail isn’t an obvious next step for a couple who met during five years’ volunteering at a Malaysian wildlife sanctuary, but Bronwyn Green and David Phillips’ passion for animals has led them to tackle waste management from the shopfloor. Green shared insights about their plastic-free grocery store Be Free Grocer with The Register.

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  • Design
  • August 20, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
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Shop with The Register: Dress up for New Zealand Fashion Week

  • News
  • August 19, 2019
  • The Register
Shop with The Register: Dress up for New Zealand Fashion Week

Retailers are busy, and busy people don’t have time to be constantly catwalk-ready. But if you’d like to shine a little brighter while checking out the new season apparel at New Zealand Fashion Week, here’s some great ideas for professional women.

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