A Retail NZ survey of the Christmas trading period showed that 43 percent of respondents said they had a better year than the one before. The season was largely positive for retailers, with over half of firms reporting a reached sales target.
61 percent of retail operations reported that they hit or exceeded their sales targets, up from 43 percent in the previous quarter.
Greg Harford, Retail NZ’s general manager for public affairs, said the good weather and strong Christmas trading period was responsible for the positive results. While the hyped arrival of Amazon in Australia in December did nothing to sway Kiwis from shopping local.
“While Amazon launched its Australian site during the period, this did not, in itself, have a big impact on Christmas trading results. Kiwis have been shopping on Amazon for a number of years, and the launch of the Amazon Australia site doesn’t change the fact that Amazon already poses a substantial threat to New Zealand retailers,” says Harford.
Retail NZ’s Retail Radar Report shows the official statistics on retail sales, with spending across the sector up 6.3 percent to $25.2 billion (increase of $1.5 billion).
Core retail categories, which exclude fuel and motor vehicles, were up 6.2 percent ($1.15 billion) on the same quarter of last year.
According to the report, the Tasman region had the highest increase at 12 percent ($236 million), followed by Gisborne at 10.2 percent ($188 million), and then Hawkes Bay at 8.5 percent ($755 million).
The Nelson Region saw the smallest increase with 2.4 percent, but was still a hefty rise of $299 million.
Retail NZ continues to back the movement to implement tax on international goods coming into the country, as to even the playing field for our national retailers.
“The big issue for retailers continues to be that Amazon and other foreign competitors continue to enjoy preferential tax treatment by the New Zealand Government, which allows them to sell to New Zealanders without paying their share of GST and, in some cases, duty as well,” says Harford. “It is unsustainable for New Zealand retailers to be penalised by their own Government and imperative that the Labour-NZ First Government act quickly to close the tax loophole.”
The Christmas trading season was good to our retailers, and many are expecting 2018 to be just as fruitful, with 76 percent expecting to reach their sales targets.