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Black Friday tops Boxing Day – for now

Black Friday tops Boxing Day – for now

Monday 26 November, 2018

Black Friday is now well and truly on the New Zealand retail calendar. Spending at core non-food retail shops through the Paymark network was 54% higher than spending on the previous Friday and 20% above Black Friday last year. At $69.7 million, the spending also topped Boxing Day 2017 ($68m), although Boxing Day 2018 will likely surpass both figures. Even so, Black Friday and Boxing Day are now of the same order of magnitude – and both are growing in popularity.

Figure 1: Nationwide spending through Underlying Paymark at Core Retail shops, excluding Food/liquor and Hospitality merchants, for the Fridays on November in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Underlying spending excludes large clients moving to or from Paymark within recent years.

And it did not stop on Friday. Spending on Saturday through Paymark at the same merchants was up 15.9% on the previous Saturday and 8.3% on the same Saturday 2017. Combined spending over the two days was 14.5% higher than last year.

However these numbers do need to be kept into perspective. Both days for these merchants are still below the days before Christmas Day when spending last year peaked at over $82 million per day. And spending through these core non-food retailers was only around 29% of spending through the Paymark network over Friday and Saturday.

In total, spending through Paymark was $442.0 million over the two days, up 6.5% on last year. Spending at food and liquor stores is another large group of merchants but their spending was only up 3.1% for the two days. Likewise, annual spending growth amongst non-retail merchants was 3.1%. Fuel merchant spending through Paymark was down 3.3%. Not surprisingly, the figure show shoppers responded to the sales on offer.

Total spending through Paymark on Black Friday was $238.2 million, up 8.8% on Black Friday 2017. Spending growth was very strong amongst some of the provincial centres, including Wanganui (17.0%) and Gisborne (16.7%), although not so strong further south at South Canterbury (7.0%) and Southland (7.0%). The lowest annual growth rate on Friday was recorded in Waikato (6.3%).

PAYMARK All Cards Data Black Friday 2018 versus Black Friday 2017)
Regiontransactions millions Annual % changetransactions $millionsAnnual % change
Auckland/Northland 1.885.5%$95.8 8.1%
Waikato 0.365.5%$17.1 6.3%
BOP 0.336.5%$16.7 8.6%
Gisborne 0.057.6%$2.2 16.7%
Taranaki 0.115.9%$5.2 15.3%
Hawke's Bay 0.144.6%$7.0 14.9%
Wanganui 0.068.9%$2.5 17.0%
Palmerston North 0.155.7%$8.1 15.5%
Wairarapa 0.053.1%$2.2 9.3%
Wellington 0.497.3%$21.2 9.9%
Nelson 0.094.8%$4.6 9.8%
Marlborough 0.069.5%$3.1 15.9%
West Coast 0.039.9%$1.5 8.6%
Canterbury 0.528.3%$26.6 9.3%
South Canterbury 0.077.4%$3.8 7.0%
Otago 0.254.4%$13.1 6.5%
Southland 0.1110.8%$5.8 7.0%
New Zealand 4.776.1%$238.2 8.8%
* Underlying spending excludes large clients moving to or from Paymark within last 12 months

Figure 2: Paymark All Cards data (Black Friday 2018 versus Black Friday 2017)


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