Jin­gling tills set record

Sunday News - - FRONT PAGE - CHRIS HUTCHING AND CATHER­INE HAR­RIS

THE great Kiwi Christ­mas shop­ping spend-up is on tar­get to top $25 bil­lion – the high­est ever.

Re­tail NZ is pro­ject­ing $10b worth of spend­ing in De­cem­ber, and $26.5b for the three-month Christ­mas shop­ping sea­son ‘‘win­dow’’, which would be 5 per cent higher than last year.

‘‘In the past cou­ple of months, on­line sales have dou­bled from what we would nor­mally do.’’

Pay­mark, which mea­sures card trans­ac­tions re­ported a high of 182 trans­ac­tions per sec­ond at mid­day yes­ter­day, which com­pared with 177 for the same day last year. A nor­mal day is about 70 trans­ac­tions a sec­ond. These are both in-store and on­line.

The peak day for shop­ping is usu­ally Christ­mas Eve, but it de­pends on the day it falls. Last year’s peak spend­ing day was De­cem­ber 21, when $282.4 mil­lion changed hands.

Greg Har­ford, pub­lic af­fairs man­ager at Re­tail NZ, said De­cem­ber’s re­tail sales had started out slowly as bad weather kept shop­pers home.

‘‘Over­all I think De­cem­ber’s go­ing OK but it’s not a stand­out year for re­tail.’’

And de­spite the rise of Black Fri­day in Novem­ber, the re­tail sec­tor ex­pects Box­ing Day to of­fer more and big­ger dis­counts.

PriceSpy ex­pects that al­most a fifth of its prod­ucts will be cheaper on De­cem­ber 26.

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