Earlybirds seek bargains

00:00, Dec 26 2012

Boxing Day shoppers keen to beat the rush were ready and waiting when The Warehouse doors opened this morning in Nelson.

Shoppers are hitting the sales today but may have lost some of their zest for spending after a quieter-than-expected final countdown to Christmas.

Kiwis spent 4.1 per cent more in the first three weeks of December compared with last year, but retail payments network operator Paymark recorded a dip in pre-Christmas spending last week.

Chief executive Simon Tong says figures suggest many shoppers avoided a last-minute dash. The national spend through Paymark electronic transactions up to December 23 was up 2.6 per cent.

Nelson spending increased just 0.6 per cent, up from $27.1 million to $27.2m up to December 23.

In Marlborough it was up 3.6 per cent, West Coast 1.3 per cent, South Canterbury 3.3 per cent, Otago 2.8 per cent, while Southland dropped 0.9 per cent.

Auckland and Northland spending was up 1.9 per cent, while Wellingtonians proved a frugal bunch with the spending in the capital dropping 1.6 per cent on last year.

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The Nelson Mail