Regions lead growth in retail spending
cent, followed by Palmerston North (5.8 per cent) and Southland (5.7 per cent).
Darren Hopper, head of e-commerce, digital experience and marketing at Paymark, said the figures showed an interesting trend in the payments landscape.
‘‘Paymark transactions reached new highs before Christmas and over the month in general but figures also point to several pressures on merchants,’’ he said.
‘‘The annual growth rate was generally low and below the rate of the recent months that would have shaped retailer expectations. We also saw widespread discounting which appears to have accelerated the trend towards lower average transaction value.’’
The average transaction value was $49.77, down 0.8 per cent on 12 months earlier. The average value has been falling for several years as cards are increasingly used for lower-valued transactions but the recent decline also reflects downward price pressure within some sectors.
A drop in fuel prices had a negligible effect on the average transaction value across all sectors, Hopper said. Lowerpriced electronic and electrical goods had a bigger impact, with a 15.2 per cent lower average transaction value amongst retailers.
‘‘Anecdotally there were also many sales, starting back on Black Friday, and this may have pushed the average transaction value lower as well, although this is difficult to see in Paymark figures as only the total transaction value is recorded. There may have been more, or fewer, items than usual within each transaction as well.’’
Spending patterns varied among retailers, with toy sellers recording 11.3 per cent higher spending through Paymark December to December. Hardware and home decorating stores were also relatively strong, up 6.1 per cent, as were chemists, up 5.5 per cent.
Spending at supermarkets and liquor stores increased by 3.9 per cent while restaurants, bars and cafes saw sales grow 6.3 per cent.
Things were tougher for accommodation providers, where spending was down 2.5 per cent, and electrical and electronic suppliers, down 19.9 per cent.