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Bumper November Sets Up Buoyant Christmas

14 December 2004

Bumper November Sets Up Buoyant Christmas for Retailers

Latest electronic transaction statistics point to busy December

Consumers have started earlier than ever to beat the Christmas shopping rush according to the latest statistics from Paymark EFTPOS. Total transactions on the Paymark EFTPOS network, which accounts for around 80% of all electronic transactions in New Zealand, were up 11% in November 2004 versus November 2003.

The first two weeks of December (29 Nov – 12 Dec) have also been strong with transaction volumes around 7% higher than the equivalent two week period in 2003. There were nearly 25 million electronic transactions processed through the Paymark EFTPOS system, worth more than $1.36 billion.

Darryl Roots, Paymark spokesperson, says the statistics are pointing to a big Christmas for retailers, “It looks like people have started with their Christmas shopping early this year, and the momentum has carried on strongly into December. It seems likely electronic transaction volumes will continue to increase ahead of previous years and that will be a positive thing for retailers.”

“New Zealanders have a huge appetite for using electronic means of payment - even for relatively small ticket items, and that is why the transaction volumes on our network are able to accurately reflect what is going on in the market. Such is the popularity of electronic transactions Paymark has recently carried out a significant upgrade of its processing systems to handle to continued increase in volumes.”

Friday December 10 saw the peak number of transactions for the week at over 2,100,000, whilst on Saturday December 4 the peak transaction rate was hit at 70 transactions per second. The historic trend is for Fridays and Saturdays to be the most popular with consumers, whilst perhaps surprisingly Sunday ranks as one of the slowest days of the week in terms of transaction volume.

The Canterbury region is seeing higher transaction levels on average versus other parts of New Zealand and was up 10% for the first week of December and 8% in the second. The Auckland/Northland region maintains its leading position making up around 38% of all electronic transactions.

John Albertson, Chief Executive of the New Zealand Retailers Association, says that the transaction volumes are consistent with what they have seen in the market this year.

“Throughout 2004 the market has been up on previous years and the signs are very encouraging for retailers this Christmas. Consumers appear very positive thanks to a buoyant economy and high levels of competition amongst retailers which are providing excellent deals. These factors, matched with the fact that Christmas Day falls on a Saturday this year, mean tills should be ringing overtime for the next 10 days.”

ENDS

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