Re­gions lead growth in re­tail spend­ing

Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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