14 September 2011
Spending surges during the first week of RWC
Even before the Rugby World Cup Opening Ceremony kicked off on Friday night, spending through Paymark’s network had
noticeably picked up, and is now surging in pockets around the country.
For the week ending Thursday 8 September, spending through the network, excluding fuel, was up 10.9 per cent, in
comparison to the 6.0 per cent growth rate of the previous week.
Auckland/Northland were at the forefront of the pre-opening spending surge (+ 11.8 per cent).
The first weekend of RWC activity (Friday through Sunday) saw the annual growth rate slow to 4.2 per cent nationally,
and 2.7 per cent in Northland/Auckland, however, spending leapt in sectors expected to feel the Cup’s fullest impact.
Car rentals over the weekend grew by 46.6 per cent year on year, and hospitality across the board also grew by 10.5 per
Paymark Head of Sales and Marketing, Paul Whiston, says that the impact the Cup has had on the New Zealand retail
landscape has come through strongly, and immediately.
“The build-up started a week out from the opening ceremony, and on the day itself (midday Friday to midday Saturday), an
extra $1.3 million flowed through the hospitality merchants linked to our network compared to the same period last year
- an effort repeated in the next 24 hours” adds Paul Whiston.
Looking more closely at the hospitality sector on a regional basis, the strongest spending surge was recorded in
Southland where spending across the three days grew 24.4 per cent compared with the same three days in 2010. Of the
three weekend days, the Southland surge was most evident on Sunday (+ 32.7 per cent).
In Auckland/Northland, Saturday was the busiest day for the hospitality sector, both in terms of total spending ($50
million) and annual spending growth (+28.3 per cent), with growth Friday (+14.4 per cent) being in line with earlier in
the week, and with Sunday (+ 4.4 per cent) being weak.
Spending in Otago (+16.6 per cent) was also buoyed by increased spending across the weekend. Otago experienced its
growth peak on Sunday when total sales grew 26.1 per cent year-on-year.
Canterbury’s peak came on Friday, with a 27.4 per cent year-on-year growth rate contributing to a +14.9 per cent growth
rate for the weekend, keeping in mind spending last year was affected by the September 2010 earthquake.
Some regions experienced lower spending in the hospitality sector over the weekend this year, including Bay of Plenty (-
5.7 per cent), Hawkes Bay (- 4.4 per cent), Palmerston North (-11.2 per cent), Wairarapa (- 23.4 per cent) and
Marlborough (-7.4 per cent)
Overseas tourist spending was up strongly between Friday and Sunday, with total foreign card spending through the
Paymark network up 27.4 per cent (an extra $2.8 million) compared to the same three days in 2010.