Black Friday was busier than Boxing Day in 2019, according to payment company Paymark.
Spending through Paymark on Boxing Day (December 26) totalled $149.8 million, up 3.9 per cent on an underlying basis on Boxing Day last year.
Black Friday’s (November 29) sales, however, reached $253 million, making it the second busiest day last year following Easter Thursday.
Spending in the six weeks leading to Christmas Day was up an underlying 4.6 per cent on last year to $8.88 million.
Data showed pre-Christmas spending got off to a strong start with the Black Friday sales in late November, with Boxing Day sales again extending the spending season, Paymark said.
As usual, Paymark said, for most merchants the busiest days remained those immediately before Christmas Day.
“Black Friday proved to be a busier day than Boxing Day in total this year but that relativity varies considerably between merchant groupings,” the payment firm said.
Spending varied by merchant group
Spending growth was highest outside the major centres, including Marlborough (+13.3 per cent), Wanganui (+11.5 per cent) and Wairarapa (+11.2 per cent). Spending growth was moderate in Northland/Auckland (+1.5 per cent) but down in Otago (-0.8 per cent) and West Coast (-3.2 per cent).
Supermarkets (+5.1 per cent) and liquor retailers (+14.2 per cent) was up on Boxing Day last year, as too was spending at cafes and restaurants (+6.1 per cent) but Paymark said the key interest is among the shops where the bargains were aplenty.
For the core retailers (excluding food and hospitality retailers) including many of the discounters, Boxing Day was mixed depending on which market segment they operate in.
Underlying spending for this key group of merchants was 0.4 per cent below Boxing Day last year. Spending was up for the likes of sport equipment retailers (+5.6 per cent) and hardware stores (+6.6 per cent) but down for clothing and footwear stores (-7.6 per cent).
Christmas comes at a cost
According to financial comparison site Finder, Kiwis are now faced with a mountain of debt after Christmas.
A Finder survey of 2117 New Zealanders revealed that 44 per cent of the population planned on using some form of credit to fund their Christmas shopping.
The research found that the average Kiwi spent $319 on gifts, upping the national spend to $1.17 billion. Approximately $533 million of this was paid for on credit.
Angus Kidman, Finder’s global editor-in-chief, said that the gift buying frenzy at Christmas would have left many Kiwis with lighter pockets.
“The pressure to overspend has left many nursing a New Year ‘financial hangover’.”