Retail spending using electronic cards surges

visa-mastercard-credit-card-amexRetail spending using debit and credit cards increased, representing a year on year growth of 4.95 per cent compared to the same period last year, according to a report released by the BNZ MarketView Consumer Spending Series.

Retail spending in the month ending April 10 rose to 5.10 per cent compared to the prior corresponding period and a 1.69 per cent increase compared to the same week last year.

According to the report, the last couple of weeks have been rather active in the retail sphere, with consumer activity high over the Easter break.

The largest rises in spending for the week included the travel agents and automotive services, both up 26.8 per cent; and hardware and homewares up 10.1 per cent. However, for some core retail store types, it was a down week, the research showed.

Department stores, clothing, footwear, sports and camping, furniture and flooring and appliances retailers all experienced a drop in spending compared to last year.

While the comparative week last year included Easter Monday, it still doesn’t make for great reading. The BNZ said, however, they expect strong bounce-back performances in the up-coming weeks with the onset of Autumn.

“In our recent monthly monitor we noted the rise of the ‘petite treats’ – the smaller discretionary purchases we make within the takeaways/cafes/hospitality grouping,” the BNZ stated. “While some of the larger purchases might not have been evident this week, the petite treats remain ever-present.”

Transaction volumes at bars/cafes/restaurants were up 11.9 per cent this week, the report indicated, while there were also strong rises at specialised food retailers, 7.2 per cent, and takeaways 4.8 per cent. With the government looking unlikely to implement any ‘sugar tax’, the petite treats may be a regular fixture for many a month to come.

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