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Singles Day, Black Friday helped boost November card spending

Retail card sales bounced back strongly in November which may have been helped by the Singles Day and Black Friday sales promotions.

Data from Statistics NZ showed more was spent on long-lasting goods in November such as recreational, hardware and appliances, as well as food and drink. 

Total retail card spending saw a 2.6 per cent rise in November when adjusted for seasonal effects, the largest increase since January 2017 when spending was up 3.6 per cent. Data showed sales have generally been flat this calendar year.

“The lift in November sales coincided with Singles Day and Black Friday sales promotions by retailers during the month,” said Sue Chapman, retail statistics manager.

“Black Friday has become a more popular sales period in recent years, though monthly retail sales typically peak in December,” Chapman said.

Spending rose across all six of the retail industries when compared with October 2019.

The durables industry saw the largest increase, up 5.4 per cent to $77 million.

Chapman said the increase in spending in hardware and department stores (durables) comes on the back of a recent lull in September and October.

Spending on groceries and liquor (consumables) saw a 1.4 per cent increase to $29 million after a small dip in October.

Core retail spending, which excludes spending on fuel and vehicles, rose 2.6 per cent in November after a 0.5 per cent fall in October.

The total value of electronic card spending, including the two non-retail categories (services and non-retail), rose 1.0 per cent to $83 million in November, following a 0.2 per cent fall in October.

In actual terms, retail spending using electronic cards was $6.2 billion, up 5.1 per cent ($297 million) from November 2018.

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