Shoppers in Dunedin yesterday. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Shopping activity appears strong throughout New Zealand
as the final Christmas shopping weekend starts today, according
to figures released yesterday by Paymark. Paymark, which
processes about 75% of all electronic transactions in New
Zealand, reported more than $3.2 billion passed through its
network between November 30 and December 29 - $148.7 million
more than the same period last year.
Paymark chief executive Simon Tong said the results should be
welcome news for retailers as they begin their final push for
the last three full shopping days before Christmas.
''It's heartening to see the annual year-on-year growth rate
building through December and climbing above the average for
the year, which was around 3%.''
During the past seven days, spending was up 5.8% overall,
making it one of the highest spending weeks of the year. On
Thursday, Paymark broke through four million transactions in
one day for only the sixth time in the company's history.
Figures supplied by Paymark showed that sales increased by
4.7% in the 21 days ending December 20.
Canterbury was up 6.4%, or $22.8 million, on the previous
corresponding period; Otago was up 4.6%, or $7.3 million, and
Southland was up 1.8%, or $1.4 million.
Total Canterbury sales in the 21 days were $379.4 million,
Otago sales were $167.1 million and Southland $80.2 million.
New Zealanders look likely to be spending some time working
on their homes and gardens this holiday season, with floor
covering and furniture stores reporting spending growth of
20.6% on the previous period.
Garden stores and hardware/building supply stores were up
10.1% and 10.3% respectively.
Red Shed retailer The Warehouse has provided some top tips
for Boxing Day shoppers, one of the busiest shopping days for
At the top of the list was: Make a budget. At times, sales
can be overwhelming, especially when products are 40%, 50% or
60% off. Keep your budget in mind when shopping so you are
not starting the new year on the back foot financially. If
your budget allows, Boxing Day sales are a great opportunity
to plan ahead and stock up on presents and family essentials
for the rest of the year.
Look at the advertisements before the day: These are usually
in newspapers on Christmas Eve. This way, you can make a note
of what you are looking for and head to those departments
Wake up early: This tip might seem obvious but getting to the
store early - or before it opens - can be the difference
between getting that stand-out bargain and going home without
the deal you are after.
Consider public transport: If it is possible to reach your
shopping destination with public transport, make use of it.
Not only is it better for the environment, you will also save
time by not having to circle the car parks.
Consider grouping purchases: If you are short on time and
just want to hit the beach, group your purchases by just
shopping at one department store. Stores often bundle deals
at this time of the year, another good way to make your
dollars go further.
If you see something you like, buy it: Boxing Day sales are
where you often do not have the opportunity to think on
purchases or ask staff to hold them for you. If something
catches your eye, and you like it, grab it.