Spending builds as Paymark readies for Christmas

Published: Fri 4 Dec 2009 09:51 AM
Media Release
Date: 4-Dec-09
Embargoed Until: 4-Dec-09
Spending builds as Paymark readies for its 20th Christmas
Despite tough retail conditions this year, Paymark figures show that 2009 festive trends are mimicking previous years, with the pre-Christmas spending increasing through the month of November.
By the end of the month, spending through the Paymark network rose 13 percent above the January to October average.
Whilst the seasonal surge in spending is underway, year on year growth for November continues to be modest with the value of spending via the Paymark network only increasing by 1.2% compared to November 2008. This trend points towards a repeat of the traditional 50 per cent surge in sales in the seven days leading up to Christmas.
The modest nature of spending is most noticeable in the major cities, where the annual growth of total monthly spending is below the national average with Auckland /Northland posting growth of 1.0% and Wellington gaining 1.1%.
The areas that experienced the fastest growth were the smaller regional centres such as Gisborne (+5.4%), Otago (+3.4%) and the Bay of Plenty (+3.2%).
“There’s no doubt that 2009 has been one of the toughest years since we started processing EFTPOS transaction back in 1989 and while the situation remains very mixed there are some encouraging signs starting to come through,” says Paymark CEO Simon Tong.
“One of these hints lies in spending growth bias which is shifting from supermarkets to more discretionary spending outlets such as appliances / white-ware stores (+18.9%) and book stores (+11.3%),” he adds.

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