Boxing Day shoppers part with record $3m

COLLETTE DEVLIN
Last updated 05:00 28/12/2012

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Boxing Day spending records were broken in Southland and Otago this year as thousands of bargain hunters hit the sales.

Figures issued yesterday by Paymark, the organisation that administers most of New Zealand's eftpos transactions, show that Boxing Day spending in both regions was at its highest since figures were first recorded in 2007.

Southland spent $3 million on Boxing Day this year compared with $2.8m last year. In Otago $7m was spent this year compared with $6.2m last year.

The number of transactions was also up in both regions - 50,064 in Southland, compared with 43,800 on Boxing Day last year, and 112,208 in Otago, compared with 97,600.

In 2009 and 2010, spending was stagnant in Southland ($2.5m) and Otago ($5.5m), and in 2007, when records were first kept, $2m was spent in Southland and $5m in Otago.

Southland Chamber of Commerce president Dave Rohan said several factors defined spending in the region, such as more affordable housing, which led to more discretionary spending.

However, he believed the Boxing Day splurge came down to the weather and the day of the week on which Christmas fell.

"Spending was lower in the run-up to Christmas because the weather had been hot and people were probably going to the beach instead of shopping."

He said cooler weather on Boxing Day, along with good deals and vouchers to spend, probably attracted shoppers.

He believed Southland would be at the top of the country for spending when the total Christmas figures were added up.

Spending was not necessarily healthy for the regions because people needed to be saving more, he said.

Boxing Day spending was up 13.4 per cent nationally year-on-year.

Paymark head of sales and marketing Paul Whiston said the strong Boxing Day numbers were a fantastic finish to what had been an already positive month of spending, and a return to the kinds of growth figures seen before the global financial crisis..

"Yesterday we saw over 2 million transactions and $120min sales through the network, $14.2m up on Boxing Day last year.

"This is the first time . . . that we've seen double digit growth and we're rapt for retailers."

Paymark reported significant growth in the electronics sector, including computers and phones, with sales up 31.7 per cent for the year.

FACT BOX

Southland Boxing Day spending 2007 – $2m (39,109 transactions) 2008 – $2.6m (41,151 transactions) 2009 – $2.5m (41,700 transactions) 2010 – $2.5m (41,000 transactions) 2011 – $2.8m (43,800 transactions) 2012 – $3m (50,064 transactions) Otago Boxing Day spending 2007 – $5m (79,124 transactions) 2008 – $5.2m (84,152 transactions) 2009 – $5.5m (93,200 transactions) 2010 – $5.5m (90,200 transactions) 2011 – $6.2m (97,600 transactions) 2012 – $7m (112,208 transactions)

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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