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Online retail spending rises in October despite dip in clothing category

Clothing spending at local online stores dipped in October but strong growth in other categories has helped boost total online retail spending for the month.

The latest BNZ Marketview monthly report showed spending at local online clothing stores fell 8 per cent in October but grew at online supermarket and grocery stores, department stores and electrical/electronic stores.

Total online retail spending in October rose 8 per cent from the previous corresponding period.

Growth in spending at local online sites eased slightly but remained in double digits. It showed an increase of 13 per cent on October last year. 

Spending growth at offshore sites showed a small increase in October, with online spending inching up 1 per cent. 

Spending offshore in the computer, clothing and electrical/electronic store categories was lower than October last year. But strong spending increases in the entertainment media and department store categories helped offset this.

“Annual online spending across the retail categories we cover is running at just over $4.7 billion (excluding GST),” said Gary Baker, director of institutional research at Bank of New Zealand. “This is equivalent to 8 per cent of total retail sales reported in Statistics NZ’s Retail Trade Series, comparing like-for-like categories.”

Baker said excluding the food and liquor sectors from both the RTS and their Index, annual online spending is equivalent to 11.1 per cent of retail sales.

According to Baker, the upcoming November and December months could see some variance from the prevailing trends, as Christmas shopping starts to kick in and the scope of GST charges on online purchases widens from December 1.

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