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What’s in store for retailers this Christmas?

  • News
  • December 4, 2018
  • Antony Ede
What’s in store for retailers this Christmas?

Christmas has always been the busiest time of year for retail. So to help you get prepared TRA have made some predictions for the 2018 Christmas period based on historical Paymark transaction data from over 140,000 Eftpos terminals around New Zealand.

Let’s see what’s coming our way for the month of December…

Is this going to a bumper year for Christmas spending?

It looks like this year is going to be a solid Christmas period for most retailers with an expected 6.87 percent overall increase in revenue from the same period in 2017.

In-store revenue over the Christmas period is expected to stay roughly the same as last year, with a 6.25 percent increase year on year. But online revenue is expected to grow considerably this Christmas with a 22.8 percent increase on last year’s revenue levels.

What is the peak shopping day?

Despite Kiwi’s efforts to not leave their Christmas shopping to the last minute it seems we can’t quite break the habit. We predict that the peak in-store shopping day will be Friday December 21, between 11am and midday, with over 3 million transactions made on this day.

When we look at online shopping, we expect the peak day for Christmas shopping to be Monday December 17 between 3 and 4pm (leaving enough time for shipping to reach our door steps). We expect to see over 14,000 transactions in this one day. 

Do Kiwis do their Christmas shopping online?

We’ve all had experiences of fighting the crowds at the mall in the last few days leading up to Christmas, and we’re sure you would love to never repeat that again. Online shopping appears to be the answer, but are Kiwis getting on board?

The answer is yes, gradually but physical retail still dominates Kiwis spending behaviour. Year on year we see online purchases taking up a bigger portion of total Christmas sales. In 2017, online shopping made up 3.95 percent of total Christmas revenue, but this year we expect that to increase to 4.32 percent. 

While this may not sound like much in percentage terms, when we look at a dollar value of this increase, it means online retailers are this year gaining an extra $31 million in revenue over the Christmas period alone – a 22.8 percent increase from 2017.  

Which categories dominate Christmas gifting?

There’s some retail categories that do especially well at this time of year because they are synonymous with Christmas gifts.

Perhaps not surprisingly given New Zealand’s love of the outdoors, the Sport and Camping Equipment category sees the biggest increase in December sales both in-store and online versus other times in the year. 

Kiwis look to physical stores to buy clothing and department store items for Christmas, and we expect both of these categories to see at least a 60 percent increase in transactions between November and December.

As well as purchasing sporting and camping equipment online, we can expect to see Kiwis purchasing Christmas gifts online from department stores and furniture retailers.

TRA is an insight agency. We use our understanding of human behaviour to identify opportunities for companies to grow.

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