Retail sales climb to record heights in June quarter

  • News
  • August 15, 2016
  • Elly Strang
Retail sales climb to record heights in June quarter

Statistics New Zealand business indicators senior manager Neil Kelly says the surge in sales was helped by strong spending in most of the retail trade industries.

“Twelve of the 15 industries had higher sales volumes this quarter, with some Auckland retailers in particular saying they had an extremely busy quarter,” he says.

“Consumer spending is humming along, with DIY and trade staff customers boosting sales in the hardware and building supply trades. Strong vehicle sales also continued.”

Retail NZ general manager for public affairs Greg Harford says retailers have reported positive trends in consumer spending.

“The first three months of the year saw a slight increase in consumer spending, and this translated into a solid increase in the June quarter,” he says.

“Kiwis love to get out and shop, especially when the weather is good, and it seems that the delayed start to winter was positive for many retailers, offering a longer time to sell through stock which relies on warmer weather.”

Harford says humming retail sales are expected to continue into the next quarter, with 85 percent of retailers saying they think they will meet or exceed sales targets.

The industries that recorded the biggest sales increases were:

  • Hardware, building, and garden supplies – 5 percent increase
  • Motor-vehicle and parts retailing – 2.6 percent increase
  • Pharmaceutical and other store-based retailing – 5.2 percent increase
  • Food and beverage services – 3.3 percent increase

The biggest decreases were in fuel retailing, which fell by one percent, and recreational goods, which declined 3.3 percent.

Interestingly, the pharmaceutical and other-based store industry experienced its largest increase in dollar-value terms since Statistics New Zealand begun its retail trade survey.

The category is mainly composed of retailers selling pharmacy, cosmetics and health products, but can also be niche stores that don’t fall under the traditional categories.

This includes smaller souvenir or gift shops, office stationery stores, photography stores, music stores, pet retailers, and florists.

As well as this, the value of sales in the pharmaceutical and other-based store industry rose 4.9 percent ($62 million) in the June quarter.

Statistics New Zealand says this category has been steadily increasing over the past three years.

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