Christchurch retail bouncing back

christchurchShoppers in Christchurch city spent more in the June 2016 quarter, after a quiet March quarter, according to Statistics New Zealand.

After seasonal fluctuations are removed, shoppers spent 2.2 percent more in the retail sector, more than recovering from a 1.1 percent dip in spending in the March 2016 quarter.

“This quarter’s rise in the retail sector was driven by increased vehicle sales. On the other hand, hospitality businesses had a slightly quieter patch in June,” senior business indicators manager Neil Kelly said.

Hospitality sales in the June quarter, were up 0.7 percent, following gains of around 2.0 percent in each of the previous two quarters.

Christchurch’s combined retail and hospitality sales increased 2.0 percent in the June 2016 quarter. This follows a 0.6 percent fall in March 2016 and a 1.1 percent rise in the December 2015 quarter.

National sales rose 2.2 percent for the June 2016 quarter.

Looking at the longer-term picture, the trend for combined retail and hospitality sales in Christchurch has risen 34 percent in the six years since the June 2010 quarter (before the earthquakes began). This compares with a 28 per cent rise at the national level over the same period.

In actual terms, Christchurch’s total sales for the June 2016 quarter were $1.9 billion, up 4.8 percent from the same quarter in 2015. This follows a 3.8 percent increase in the March 2016 quarter.

The Christchurch retail trade indicator series measures activity in the retail and hospitality industries. It provides information on the state of these industries after the Canterbury earthquakes that began in September 2010.

The Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration Gerry Brownlee says the latest spending figures from Statistics New Zealand are further proof of the city’s ongoing recovery success.

“This is great news for Christchurch’s economy, recovery and residents,” Brownlee said.

“Statistics New Zealand says the trend for the combined retail and hospitality sales in Christchurch has risen 34 per cent in the six years since the June 2010 quarter, just before the region’s earthquake sequence began.

“This is higher than the 28 per cent rise witnessed at a national level over the same period.

“Given the scale of the recovery and the widespread destruction the earthquakes caused, I am heartened by these latest figures.

“There are new hospitality outlets opening and new retail tenants being signed up all the time.

“After the successful opening of stage one of the BNZ Centre in the retail precinct, stage two is on track to open in December this year and will include Michael Hill, Pandora, Spark and New Zealand fashion store Repertoire.

Construction of another retail precinct development, ANZ Centre, is also well under way and expected to be complete early next year.

“The Crossing development is also progressing well and will offer the South Island’s first Topshop and Topman stores,” said Brownlee.

“All signs are pointing to a bumper Christmas shopping season in the regenerating central city, with plenty of offerings available in both the retail and innovation precincts and other parts of the city’s core.”

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