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NZ Online Retail Sales - November 2018

• New Zealand’s total online retail spending in November was 9% higher than in November last year.
o Very strong growth in online purchases from local retailers offset sluggish growth in purchases from overseas sites.
Local online sites saw spending up 15% compared to November last year, well ahead of the 4.9% growth in sales at traditional stores.
o Clothing, Grocery and Electronic categories featured strongly.
• Online spending at international sites was up a mere 3% compared to November last year.
o November is usually the peak month for spending at offshore sites, as people order ahead of Christmas. That’s the case so far this year – the level of spending is high, it’s just the year-on-year growth rate that seems low.
o The NZD in November was at similar levels to November last year, so the exchange rate doesn’t seem an obvious culprit behind the slow growth.
o Spending in November last year was particularly strong (so we’re comparing this year to a strong previous figure), but that was true for both international and domestic spending.
o It’s possible that some people pushed Nov purchases into early Dec, as they gain more confidence with international delivery times. The December figures may provide more clues.
• Annual online spending across the retail categories we cover is now running at just over $4.5 billion (excl GST).
• We are publishing this release slightly earlier than usual, given the upcoming Christmas break. Please treat the Nov figures as provisional.

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