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Shopping gathers pace, huge Christmas Eve expected

Media release
Newmarket Business Association
Friday, 18 December 2009

Shopping gathers pace - huge Christmas Eve expected

Both the volume and value of retail transactions across New Zealand are tracking above where they were this time last year, with next week expected to be huge, says the head of the country’s leading retail district.

Eftpos provider Paymark's nationwide figures for December’s first two weeks show 2009 up on last year while Newmarket's own surveys show general confidence and trading expectations are also up on last Christmas.

"People are generally feeling a lot better about life compared to 12 months ago. Last Christmas people were terribly spooked but this Christmas people realise the sky hasn't fallen in. In fact Treasury's economic forecasting keeps improving and unemployment is lower than we all expected,” says Cameron Brewer, chief executive of the Newmarket Business Association.

"Retail relies so much on the feel-good factor. Business and consumers are feeling more positive about their prospects for 2010 and that helps the cash registers.”

Mr Brewer says two features of retail this Christmas are that many people seem to be focused on buying more practical gifts such as shopping vouchers while others are putting off their Christmas shopping until the last minute.

“With Christmas this year falling on a Friday many Kiwis will work right up until Christmas Eve and then go out and shop.

"It is lining up to be a real last minute rush and a huge Christmas Eve. Our advice for those who want to avoid the gridlock, queues and stress is to do their shopping sooner rather than later,” says Cameron Brewer.

ENDS

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