Apparel leads 3 per cent March retail sales fall

New Zealand retail sales in March declined 3 per cent amid lower turnover across all stores.

Industry group Retail NZ noted significant declines in apparel, motor vehicles and fuel during the month, reflecting a more challenging trading environment.

“It’s going to be a tough remainder of 2024 with the Reserve Bank indicating that there is some way to go before we will see cuts to the official cash rate,” Retail NZ CEO Carolyn Young said.

“It’s a worrying trend and the next six months will be critical to retailers being able to see through the year.”

Retail NZ emphasised that the figures come amid announcements of Ted Baker going into administration and Kate Sylvester shutting its business next year.

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