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Spending momentum continues in third week of December

December 23, 2013

Spending momentum continues in third week of December

Paymark figures released today reveal another solid week of Christmas shopping, with spending through the Paymark network up 6.9 per cent year-on-year for the first three weeks of December

Friday the 20th of December was the busiest day of the year-to-date, with $235.6 million through the tills, up 5.7 per cent on the same day in 2012.

Paymark Head of Sales and Marketing, Paul Whiston, says the third week of December has seen the Christmas rush continue.

“Last week we saw the usual pre-Christmas jump with Kiwis spending more than $1.3 billion between the 15th and 21st of December. This is a strong performance and growth so far for December is still ahead of the year-to-date average.

“However the figures do point to some variances. The annual growth rate has slowed as the month has progressed, from 8.6 per cent in the first week of December to a 6.9 per cent average over the month-to-date. Whether that reflects better planning this year or a reliance on the next two days will be interesting to see,” he says.

“We are also seeing the positive influence of higher tourist numbers and construction activity coming through in pre-Christmas spending.”

Paymark, which processes around three quarters of all electronic transactions in New Zealand, saw growth momentum sustained across a number of sectors including accommodation (11.9%), restaurants, bars and cafes (10.4%), food takeaways (10.4%) and hardware / building supplies (10.1%).

“Conversely, internet spending may be impacting some sectors, such as clothing retailers and book shops, which are showing low growth or falling sales,” says Whiston.

“But enough about business – what about Christmas Day? The spending figures suggest we will be well groomed, well catered for, and under the tree might be some new shoes, a new pet, some jewellery, some electronic gadgetry and something for around the home.”

Palmerston North (9.0%) leads spending growth in the regions over the first three weeks of December, followed closely by Marlborough (8.7%) and Canterbury (7.6%).

“The growth rates this December have been higher than we’ve experienced in a number of years. With a couple of shopping days still to go before Christmas, as well as the Boxing Day sales, we’re anticipating that December will be a strong month for many retailers,” adds Whiston.

PAYMARK Regional Data 1-21st December 2013 versus 2012

RegionValue of spending ($millions) Last YearValue of spending ($millions) Current YearValue Difference
Hawke’s Bay$93.2$98.35.5%
Palmerston North$106.1$115.69.0%
West Coast$24.2$24.20.1%
South Canterbury$59.1$61.33.6%
New Zealand$3,336.5$3,567.76.9%

PAYMARK Sector Data 1-21st December 2013 versus 2012

SectorValue of spending ($millions) Last YearValue of spending ($millions) Current YearValue Difference
Automotive excluding Fuel$95.4$88.8-7.0%
Clothing, Apparel & Jewellery$223.1$231.63.8%
Restaurants, bars, cafes$251.6$277.610.4%
Liquor Retailing$69.3$76.09.7%
Phamacy / Health / Beauty$237.3$249.55.2%
Domestic Appliance & Whiteware Stores$53.8$55.43.0%
Sporting and Camping Equipment/Cycles$46.6$49.66.4%
Floor Covering & Furniture$36.3$38.25.2%
Gardening Stores$17.4$17.82.4%
Hardware / Building Supplies$164.3$180.910.1%
Food retail / wholesale$775.3$831.67.3%
Food takeaway$85.0$93.810.4%
Transport / Travel$109.1$116.76.9%
NZ (including others not itemised)$3,336.5$3,567.76.9%

About Paymark
In November 2009, Paymark honoured a significant business, retail, and economic milestone with the celebration of its 20th birthday. Since its inception in 1989 when three banks came together to form Electronic Transaction Services Limited (now known as Paymark Limited), Paymark has grown to become an integral part of New Zealand’s economic landscape with arguably the best EFTPOS system in the world.

Quick facts:
• By March 1990 volumes through the network exceeded 1 million transactions a month
• 1994 the company increased its computer processing power to accommodate volumes exceeding 10 million transactions a month
• 28 August 1996, Paymark makes history by installing an off-shore EFTPOS terminal at a general store, Scott Base, Antarctica
• In 1998 Paymark passed another milestone as the 1 billionth EFTPOS transaction was processed
• In February 2012, Paymark processed its 10 billionth transaction
• More than 74,000 merchants and 116,000 terminals are currently connected to the network that is now 3DES and EMV compliant. Today, the Paymark network processes over 75% of all electronic transactions in the New Zealand retail market on behalf of more than 50 card issuers and acquirers.


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