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‘Boom’ Christmas Expected for Retailers

‘Boom’ Christmas Expected for Retailers as One in Five New Zealanders to Spend More

Auckland, 23 November 2004 –New Zealand retailers look set for another positive end to the year with one in five New Zealanders planning to spend more on Christmas this year, according to a Galaxy research survey released by MasterCard International today.

At the same time, the survey found that New Zealanders are becoming more ‘savvy’ in their Christmas purchases, making their dollars stretch further, especially during the traditional shopping period.

The survey shows that overall, 20% of New Zealanders plan to spend more on Christmas this year and 42% plan to spend more on some things and less on others. While some New Zealanders plan to spend more on their purchases, they are also looking for increased value from their spend.

The gift category that most people will spend more on is clothes and shoes (with 27% of consumers expecting to spend more in this category), followed by toys (23%), home and garden furnishings (20%), home electronics (15%), jewellery (11%) and computer equipment (10%).

Interestingly, a significant part of the expected Christmas spend will be driven by the post-Christmas sales with 58% of New Zealanders planning to purchase items during the post-Christmas sales.

“New Zealanders are clearly becoming smarter in the way they’re making their dollars stretch further,” said Bob Whiddon, Senior Vice President and Country Manager, New Zealand, MasterCard International. “This year, consumers of all ages, and especially younger consumers, are waiting until the post-Christmas sales to make larger purchases.”

A Colmar Brunton survey recently commissioned by MasterCard in New Zealand revealed that the majority of New Zealanders are very responsible users of credit cards, with nearly 66.5% of cardholders paying off their bills each month.

“These findings are a strong indication of the mature money management abilities of the vast majority of New Zealanders. And this is backed up the latest Reserve Bank of New Zealand statistics, which show that in the 12 months to August 2004, while New Zealanders spent $21 billion on their credit cards, over that time the interest-earning outstanding balance on those cards increased by only $79 million – less than half of one percent of what was spent,” continued Mr Whiddon.

“New Zealanders are using their credit cards wisely. It’s evident in their mature attitude towards Christmas spending and the fact they’re using credit cards as a tool to reduce EFTPOS fees, gain reward points and have more personal security in their daily transactions rather than simply as a means to credit,” said Mr Whiddon.

Survey highlights:

Galaxy research – Christmas Spending 20% of New Zealanders plan to spend more on Christmas this year 42% plan to spend more on some things and less on others. The gift category that most people will spend more on is clothes and shoes (with 27% of consumers expecting to spend more in this category). This is followed by: Toys (23%) Home and garden furnishings (20%) Home entertainment or electronics equipment (15%) Jewellery (11%) Computer equipment (10%)

Galaxy research – Christmas Sales

58% of consumers will purchase during the post-Christmas sales 36% of consumers expecting to buy clothing and footwear at the sales 30% of consumers will purchase home and garden furnishings during the post-Christmas sales followed by: 26% home electronics 21% toys 19% for computer equipment Younger consumers are more likely to purchase during the post-Christmas sales, with three quarters of those aged 18 – 34 years planning to delay a purchase, compared to only 41% of consumers aged 50 or older.

Colmar Brunton - Credit card use 66.5 % of New Zealanders pay off the full amount owing on their credit card each month 92% of New Zealanders know their credit limit on their credit cards 69% believe their credit limit is just right

###

About MasterCard International MasterCard International is a leading global payments solutions company that provides a broad variety of innovative services in support of our global members’ credit, deposit access, electronic cash, business-to-business and related payment programs. MasterCard International manages a family of well-known, widely accepted payment card brands including MasterCard, Maestro and Cirrus and serves financial institutions, consumers and businesses in over 210 countries and territories. The MasterCard award-winning Priceless advertising campaign is now seen in 97 countries and in 47 languages, giving the MasterCard brand a truly global reach and scope. For more information go to www.mastercardinternational.com.

ENDS


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