New Zealanders opened their wallets more than ever over the 2014 festive season with a record breaking $404.3 million spent through the Paymark network on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day. On Christmas Eve, $263.5 million was processed via the Paymark network, an increase of 10.5% on last year.
Boxing Day provided many retailers with an additional boost with $140.8 million spent across the country, which represents a 4.8% increase in spending through its network, equivalent to an additional $6.4 million in retailers’ pockets, when compared to 2013.
Paymark’s Head of Customer Relations, Mark Spicer says Christmas Eve 2014 was Paymark’s biggest day on record with $263.5 million processed through the network, up by an unprecedented 10.5% on 2013.
“Christmas Eve this year smashed all our records. Not only did we see the highest ever spending value through the network, we also saw the highest number of transactions at 4.8 million. During our busiest hour on Christmas Eve, traditionally 12 noon – 1pm, another record was broken when the number of transactions processed per second peaked at 156. This compares with 148 transactions per second in 2013.”
Some of the South Island regions led the spending spree on Christmas Eve with Otago, Canterbury and Nelson all recording double digit annual growth. And while Otago and Canterbury were both strong on Boxing Day, high growth was also recorded in the Bay of Plenty and Wanganui.
Christmas Eve saw Kiwis spending up on clothing, apparel and jewellery, up 8.9% on last year. Department stores were also up by 6.3%. However some of the largest gains were seen in the hospitality sector with 26.7% growth recorded on Christmas Eve.
“Food retailers which includes cafes and restaurants, along with liquor merchants, were also strong performers on Christmas Eve”, says Spicer, with an increase of 13.5% and 11.8% respectively. “We appear to have dined well on Christmas Eve and then returned for more on Boxing Day.”
Boxing Day key statistics, year on year, revealed strong growth at liquor merchants of 23.1%, spending in the food retail sector was up 14.3% and department store sales were moderate with 5% growth.
Note: History shows that changes in Paymark transactions are not always consistent with retail sales, as released by Statistics NZ, but they do provide a wide measure of household spending. Some Paymark transactions occur through merchants not currently considered part of the retail sector. Some electronic sales are transacted through other switching houses and there remains spending with cash, cheques or other non-electronic means. Paymark spending includes any GST paid to the merchant, and also includes cash withdrawals at the time of purchase.