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Retailers Report Positive Christmas Trading Period

The latest Retail NZ Retail Radar report shows that the Christmas trading season was largely positive for many retailers.

“43 per cent of retailers report that the 2017 Christmas trading season was better than the previous year, with 26 per cent reporting similar performance to 2016,” Retail NZ’s General Manager for Public Affairs, Greg Harford said today. “More generally, the last quarter of 2017 was broadly positive for the retail sector, with 61 per cent of firms reporting that they hit or exceeded their sales targets, up from 43 per cent in the previous quarter.

“The results are positive for the sector, and reflect good weather around the country that encouraged New Zealanders to get out and shop, as well as strong Christmas sales. Kiwis love to get out and about when the weather’s good, and shopping is a key activity, allowing families and friends to get together for a shared social experience.

“While Amazon launched its Australian site during the period, this did not, in itself, have a big impact on Christmas trading results. Kiwis have been shopping on Amazon for a number of years, and the launch of the Amazon Australia site doesn’t change the fact that Amazon already poses a substantial threat to New Zealand retailers. The big issue for retailers continues to be that Amazon and other foreign competitors continue to enjoy preferential tax treatment by the New Zealand Government, which allows them to sell to New Zealanders without paying their share of GST and, in some cases, duty as well. It is unsustainable for New Zealand retailers to be penalised by their own Government and imperative that the Labour-NZ First Government act quickly to close the tax loophole.

“Looking ahead, retailers are generally positive about the first quarter of 2018, with 76 per cent expecting to meet their sales targets. However, there is concern about the likely financial and compliance costs of new Government regulation over time.”

A copy of the latest Retail Radar report is attached.

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