Christmas cheer: How December’s retail sales fared

  • News
  • January 14, 2016
  • Elly Strang
Christmas cheer: How December’s retail sales fared

Paymark’s spending data for December found spending growth was up almost eight percent to $5.49 billion.

December saw 106 million transactions on Paymark’s network, which makes up more than 75 percent of New Zealand’s Eftpos terminals.

Auckland, Marlborough, Northland, Southland and the Bay of Plenty saw the strongest spending growth in the country.

The Bay of Plenty in particular broke into double figure growth, with spending increasing 10 percent from 2014.

A number of factors were thought to have influenced consumer spending, including the Reserve Bank cutting the Official Cash Rate by 0.25 percent to 2.5 percent per annum in early December, as well as lower petrol prices.

Increased visitor arrivals to New Zealand were also thought to be a factor, with a visitor increase of 11 percent over November 2015 compared to 2014’s figures.

As shown in the graph below, Auckland and Northland experienced the highest amount of transactions, with $2.23 billion spent, an increase of 9 percent.

Graph by Rupal Hira

This was followed by the Waikato, with $395 million spent and Bay of Plenty, with $368 million spent.

Southland saw the lowest amount spent, with $121 million, but it experienced one of the highest increases in spending from 2014, rising 9 percent.

Paymark also found Christmas eve transactions set a new record, with Kiwi consumers spending more than $147 million. The busiest time of day was 12:21pm, with 157.46 transactions per second.

Statistics New Zealand released similar card data. It found retail spending using electronic cards reached $6 billion in December 2015.

This is up $304 million from December 2014 and is the highest ever monthly figure to date.

However, when the figure was adjusted for seasonal effects, retail spending was down 0.2 percent in December.

Statistics New Zealand business indicators manager Clara Eatherley said this was due to a significant fall in spending in the durables category - down $21 million (1.8 percent).

Hospitality spend saw a significant boost, up $13 million (1.6 percent).

eStar, an ecommerce company, saw its customers’ online transactions grow more than 300 percent over the Christmas/Boxing Day period when compared to normal trading.

Point-of-sale software company Vend reported its Kiwi retailers saw a 11 percent boost in retail spending in the lead up to Christmas, when compared to 2014.

Discounting of products while leading up to Christmas also increased by 22 percent, matching UK retail trends.

However, it found during the Boxing Day and January sales period, spending was down 5 percent on 2014/15.

Despite Boxing Day discounting increasing by as much 100 percent over the rest of the Christmas period, retail spending on the big day was 19 percent lower than the December average.

Vend says the biggest days for retail spend over the whole holiday season to date (1 December - 11 January) were: 

  1. 23rd December
  2. 18th December
  3. 22nd December
  4. ​11th December
  5. 4th December
​ ​

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Direct sales: How multi-level marketing works

  • News
  • April 18, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Direct sales: How multi-level marketing works

The $200 million-plus direct sales economy contains many lessons retailers can use. As part of a wider look at this thriving corner of retail, we created a quick explainer showing how this business model typically works.

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  • April 18, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
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Direct sales: Meet the business builder

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As part of a wider story looking at what retailers can learn from the direct sales industry, we profiled Isagenix distributor Ben Frost.

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  • Opinion
  • April 18, 2019
  • David Farrell
A spectrum of retailers

In recognition of April being Autism Awareness Month, retail commentator Dave Farrell considers the role of those on the spectrum in retail.

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How on-trend is your retail business?

  • Sponsored Content
  • April 18, 2019
  • Sponsored content
How on-trend is your retail business?

New insights from Visa highlight five evolving trends emerging from savvy retailers around the world. We’ve taken these global trends and looked at how they are playing out with merchants in New Zealand, and we’d now like to hear what you think of them.

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