Christmas Eve spending hit record

LAURA WALTERS
Last updated 13:47 27/12/2013

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Christmas Eve was the biggest trading day on record, electronic payment processor Paymark says.

Figures released today by the bank-owned eftpos operator showed a record $238.4 million passed through the electronic network on Christmas Eve, 18.5 per cent more than on the same day last year.

Head of sales and marketing Paul Whiston said Paymark processed the highest value through the network ever, as well as the highest number of transactions in one day - 4.35m - and the largest number of transactions per second. 

"To come off the back of a high like this and to also see the busiest Boxing Day that we've ever seen is a hugely positive result for retailers," he said.

Boxing Day sales rose 12 per cent yesterday compared with the same day last year, Whiston said.

The increase in Boxing Day spending was equivalent to an additional $14.4m in retailers' pockets compared with 2012, he said.

Yesterday was a continuation of the growth in Boxing Day sales in recent years.

"It's also an indication that consumer confidence is high due to the improved economy we're seeing at present - a win-win for retailers as far as we're concerned," Whiston said.

Gisborne had the highest growth on Christmas Eve, up almost 36 per cent on the previous year.

Wairarapa yesterday saw an extra $200,000 injected into its economy, an increase of 17.2 per cent compared with last year, Whiston said.

Food and liquor retailers increased sales by 28 per cent and department stores by more than 23 per cent on Christmas Eve, the figures showed.

Huge Christmas Eve queues at supermarkets were reflected in the sales figures for the day, Whiston said.

Deals at clothing and jewellery stores (up 16.5 per cent), appliance and whiteware stores (up 16.6 per cent), electronics retailers (up 12 per cent), and floor covering and furniture stores (up 17.5 per cent) brought the shoppers in on Boxing Day.

Sporting and camping equipment outlets had particularly big days on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, up 20.2 per cent and 31.8 per cent respectively.

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- Fairfax Media

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