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A million Kiwis flock to shopping site before Christmas

PriceMe Media Release

29th December 2012

A million Kiwis flock to shopping site before Christmas

Christmas shoppers took to their computers, tablets and mobile phones in their droves this year, if the December figures for searches on are any indication of retail activity.

PriceMe marketing director Chris Palmer says that the number of visits to PriceMe for December will reach the one million mark by the end of the month, thanks to record numbers of pre-Christmas and Boxing Day searches on NZ’s busiest comparison shopping site. “We could see the numbers building strongly from early December this year, reaching a record high just before Christmas. Surprisingly, Boxing Day was also one of our busiest days this month, with almost 40,000 visitors carrying out their pre-purchase searches for best prices and product information”.

Paymark, which processes about 75 per cent of all electronic transactions in NZ, said there were more than two million transactions and $120 million in sales - up $14.2m up from a year ago. Boxing Day sales figures showed a 13.4 per cent jump in spending from the same time last year.

The company's head of sales and marketing Paul Whiston said the strong Boxing Day numbers were a fantastic finish to a positive month of spending, and a return to the kinds of growth seen before the global financial crisis. "This is the first time in five years that we've seen double digit growth and we're rapt for retailers''.

Consumer electronics were once again the hottest items searched on PriceMe this Christmas, with Apple products taking five out of the top 10 search terms during December. “It’s a competitive area of retail, and consumers will spend if they know they’re getting a great deal” says Palmer. “They’re checking out prices on PriceMe before buying online or heading to the stores, with many shoppers using our mobile apps in-store to achieve a better deal from a retailer”.

There is much debate from economists about whether this summer’s growth in retail is sustainable, with ANZ chief economist Cameron Bagrie saying “the figures probably just proved that New Zealand shoppers were savvy when it came to spending their cash during sale time. That sort of jump tells me people have been waiting for the sales" he said. "The new so-called normal for retailers is that shoppers are pretty price sensitive and they're going to be darting from sale to sale".

Whatever the near future in retail holds, most commentators agree that the current season is better than it’s been for some years, and most retailers are just making the most of the positive sentiment that abounds.


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