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Don’t be fooled by the latest retail stats

Media release

Don’t be fooled by the latest retail stats

“Business for our retailers is by no means as rosy as the latest figures may suggest,” said Cameron Brewer, head of New Zealand’s leading retailing district, Newmarket.

Mr Brewer was commenting on Statistic New Zealand’s latest retail trade survey released at 11am this morning. Seasonally adjusted retail sales rose 1.4 percent in the March 2006 quarter compared with the December 2005 quarter.

“While on the face of it these figures may look generally positive, the mood out there is one of uncertainty. These statistics confirm our suspicions that while department stores may have done quite well in the last quarter, the likes of individual fashion and footwear retailers have recorded negative figures overall.

“My retailers tell me it has been hard going this year with the costs of doing business only getting higher and higher, the latest of course being petrol and diesel.

“Further, retailing is only going to get tougher in the coming months with gloomy economic forecasts ahead of us and more competition coming into the marketplace. For example, the opening of Sylvia Park in Mt Wellington next month will come at the expense of other mega centres like Botany Downs.

“Businesses would love to see some serious tax relief in Dr Cullen’s forthcoming budget as was announced in the Australian federal budget last week. Our Government however will be big on talking about its huge operating surplus, but light on how it's going to reduce the cost burdens on business.

“Auckland retailers are feeling a lot of uncertainty as we head into winter, not helped by high fuel prices and the real possibility of costly congestion charges. Today’s statistics will be of little comfort to them,” said Cameron Brewer.


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