Retailers look to tourists to meet sales targets

Retailers are hoping tourists will make up for the lack of local consumer spending in the crucial holiday period, and some are considering raising prices this quarter, after 61 per cent failed to meet their sales target in the quarter ended September 30, according to Retail NZ.

The industry body on Thursday released its latest Radar report, which found that a majority of retailers missed their sales targets last quarter, as slowing economic growth and business uncertainty contributed to a lack of consumer spending.

“There is now a great deal of pressure on retailers to make their sales targets for the last quarter of 2019 as the Christmas season is often the time retailers make most of their money for the year,” Greg Harford, CEO of Retail NZ, said in a statement.

“Many retailers are optimistic that performance will improve over the holiday period and that increasing numbers of tourists will hopefully contribute to a boost in spending.”


According to Retail NZ’s sales index, which measures credit card spending with Retail NZ merchants who process their sales with Westpac, spending increased just 0.2 per cent last quarter compared to the previous quarter. September was a bright spot with an average increase in spending of 5.6 per cent on August.

However, retailers continue to face cost pressures, with a third expecting to raise prices in the fourth quarter, Harford said.

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