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Headwinds Continue To Hold Back Retail Sector

Retail card spending figures for April 2024 show that the retail sector is continuing to battle strong headwinds, Retail NZ Chief Executive Carolyn Young says.

Stats NZ’s latest Electronic Card Transactions shows a 3.8% fall in retail spending compared to April 2023. This follows a 2.3% fall in March, compared to the same month of 2023.

“Retail NZ members are telling us that it’s tough to make sales and customers are generally spending less. At the same time, retailers’ costs are rising with increases in wages, insurance, freight and other business expenses. Retailers experienced tough trading conditions in 2023 so we are comparing off a low base. Further decreases in sales are eating into margins and profitability,” Ms Young says.

Retail NZ is hoping the promised tax cuts in the upcoming Budget will lead to a lift in consumer confidence and spending.

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