Subdued Boxing Day sales recorded as Kiwis tighten their belts

Boxes in a trolley on a laptop keyboard. Ideas about online shopping, online shopping is a form of electronic commerce that allows consumers to directly buy goods from a seller over the internet.

New Zealanders spent slightly less Boxing Day sales last year compared to 2022, despite inflation easing to 5.6 per cent in the September quarter and the Reserve Bank of Australia’s decision to keep the interest rates at 5.5 per cent.

Consumer spending processed through all core retail merchants excluding hospitality in Worldline NZ’s network fell 0.6 per cent year over year to $98.3 million.

Boxing Day spending in Otago rose 9.4 per cent to $6 million, the highest annual regional spending growth for Boxing Day.

Wairarapa, where spending reached $800,000 achieved the second-highest annual growth of 8.5 per cent.

However, Wellington suffered the largest spending drop of 10.8 per cent with transactions amounting to $7.4 million.

Bruce Proffit, Worldline NZ’s chief of sales, said that while the figures would be disappointing for retailers, it was in line with the overall trends monitored in the past six months.

Food and liquor services outlets enjoyed spending growth of 14.1 per cent, with sales totalling $14.6 million.

Meanwhile, comparison site said its traffic increased 11 per cent compared to Black Friday, which an economist attributed to more people seeking deals.

“’s point around stronger online activity in the lead up to Boxing Day on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day highlights how hard retailers will have to work to convince households to part with their cash into 2024,” Infometrics CEO Brad Olsen told Stuff.

“I expect more people will be out looking for deals and comparing price options, given they have a more limited pool of money to spend as interest rates and mortgage repayments have risen.”

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