Timaru shies off online shopping

SAHIBAN KANWAL
Last updated 05:00 31/05/2014

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Timaru shoppers are bucking national online retail shopping trends and heading back to the high street.

Nationwide online retail spending was up by 11 per cent in the three months to April, but the same could not be said for Timaru.

Marketview managing director Stephen Bridle said online purchases were down in Timaru in comparison with the rest of Canterbury, where they went up by 8 per cent in the period.

"Online purchases by Timaru residents were actually down by around 5.5 per cent. However, retail spending in the same period was up by 4.1 per cent, suggesting they are choosing to do more spending in stores than on the internet," Bridle said.

The latest BNZ Online Retail Sales Index shows that over the past 12 months, online sales have been growing at an average of about $27 million per month.

This is shy of the growth rates of about $39m and $33m per month in the years ending April 2012 and 2013 respectively. The index showed 75 per cent of online retail spending was done in the North Island. Of total online retail spending, 14 per cent is in Canterbury.

Most retail sales consisted of "department, variety and others," with "recreation, books, entertainment and media" coming a close second, followed by "groceries, liquor and specialised foods".

Nationwide, domestic online purchases are more popular than international ones, accounting for 60 per cent of sales. "We are seeing spending increase, both online and on the high street. It paints a pretty good picture of New Zealand consumer confidence," Bridle said.

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- The Timaru Herald

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