Mixed spending trends kick off Christmas retail season

(Source: Big Stock)

New Zealand witnessed mixed consumer spending patterns in the first full week of December, with growth seen in the food and liquor category while most of other retail sectors suffered decline.

Food and liquor sales went up 6.7 per cent in the first seven days of December, according to Worldline NZ data. Bookshops saw a 1.7 per cent increase in sales, while toy stores improved 2.4 per cent and chemist store sales rose by 8.2 per cent.

“The pattern of recent months continues with spending at food and liquor stores up and spending elsewhere generally running below 2022 levels,” said Bruce Proffit, chief sales officer at Worldline NZ.

Meanwhile, clothing/footwear store sales fell 9.2 per cent and hardware and furniture merchants saw a 6.9 per cent decline.

“Black Friday spending certainly provided the usual boost for retailers at the end of the month, but the overall trends for November continued to reflect the generally weaker growth we’ve seen over the preceding months,” said Profitt.

Core merchants excluding hospitality processed $785 million of payments using Worldine NZ’s network in the first seven days of December, up 1.4 per cent from the same period last year.

Whanganui posted the highest spending growth of 9.5 per cent across all regions, followed by Otago at 7.4 per cent.

However, spending declined in Auckland/Northland, Hawke’s Bay, Gisborne, Southland, Taranaki, and Bay of Plenty.

You have 7 articles remaining. Unlock 15 free articles a month, it’s free.