At first glance this looks like a tough week for retail. However we have to remember that this week’s reporting includes Easter Weekend and a Good Friday that features little (but increasing) retail volumes.
The first three days of the Easter weekend didn’t live up to last year’s sales, according to the weekly BNZ MarketView report.
Spending this year for the three days of Easter (Easter Monday not included in this week’s data) was down 3.4 per cent on the same three days of Easter last year.
Spending on both Good Friday (4.3 pr cent) and Easter Sunday (1.7 per cent) this year were up on the same Easter days last year, however, it was Easter Saturday, which accounted for 69 per cent of spending over the three days, that drove the overall negative result for the weekend – down six per cent.
It was a good weekend for the hospitality industry, with spending up 2.6 per cent on Easter last year. Included in this was a 5.3 per cent rise in spending on Good Friday. Michael Stechman of BNZ speculated that this may be due to more retailers adapting to food serving laws or are willing to risk the $1000 fine if it means serving to a captive market.
Storetypes with the largest rises in spending this week included hardware and homeware, up 7.7 per cent; supermarkets and dairies, up 1.7 per cent; and liquor, up 1.6 per cent.
In a strong indication of Easter Weekend activity, spending at hardware and homeware retailers was up 7.7 per cent, despite having one fewer days trading.