Christmas shopper in Dunedin's George St. Photo by Peter
Festive season shoppers were ringing the tills in
record-breaking fashion according to the latest Christmas
Paymark, which processes around 75 per cent of all electronic
transactions in New Zealand, said "record-smashing" spending
on both Christmas Eve and Boxing Day saw December spending up
by 7.5 per cent on 2012.
The firm also recorded a strong seasonally adjusted
month-on-month spending result, increasing 1.7 per cent from
November to December.
The figures indicate a continued upswing in spending on the
network across 2013, culminating in a particularly buoyant
"Following record-smashing spending on both Christmas Eve and
Boxing Day it is not surprising to finish on such a high in
December," says Paymark head of sales and marketing, Paul
High growth in December was recorded by pet stores (+9.2 per
cent), sporting/camping equipment stores (+9.3 per cent),
footwear retailers (+9.2 per cent) and watch / jewellery
shops (+8.7 per cent).
Double-digit year-on-year growth was seen in furniture stores
(+11.5 per cent) and duty free shops (+17.3 per cent).
"A lot of sectors have showed some strong spending patterns
through the month of December and many retailers will be very
pleased with the results," says Mr Whiston.
It also seems New Zealanders, and tourists were out and about
catching up with friends and family around the country with
the hospitality sector up 9.5 per cent.
It includes a significant growth in accommodation (+11.1 per
cent) in contrast to no real year-on-year growth 12 months
In terms of regional results for the month, spending was
strongest in Gisborne (+9.9 per cent), Marlborough (+9.4 per
cent) and Palmerston North (+9.0 per cent). However, growth
rates remained low in the West Coast (+2.7 per cent) and
Wellington (+3.3 per cent).
Nationwide during December, the volume of card transactions
was 6.8 per cent higher than a year ago, with credit card
growth (+15.2 per cent) remaining higher than debit card
growth (+4.0 per cent).
During 2013, Paymark processed 986 million transactions,
totalling $49.3 billion, over the 12 months. The average
transaction value of $49.99 was 0.2 per cent above the 2012
"For the first time since the 2008 global financial crisis
we're seeing a significant increase in spending which should
bring optimism for most Kiwi retailers, and hopefully we see
this momentum continue into 2014," says Mr Whiston.