Food, liquor top splurge

AL WILLIAMS
Last updated 05:00 10/12/2013

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Tills are ringing, with spending up in South Canterbury as the Christmas rush approaches.

Paymark figures show the district had a 6 per cent increase in the value of November transactions, to $73.9 million - in comparison with the same month last year.

Paymark processes about three-quarters of all electronic transactions in New Zealand, with the number in South Canterbury up from 1.25 million in November last year to 1.35 million last month - a 7.9 per cent increase.

Spending across the Paymark network showed a nationwide annual growth of 6.8 per cent in value, compared with November 2012.

Figures released yesterday showed spending over the first days of December increased 8.6 per cent on the same time last year.

Paymark head of customer relations Mark Spicer said the increase showed momentum was building towards the final Christmas countdown.

"Anecdotal commentary from retailers suggests the figures are supported and Kiwis are beginning to get out and about to collect their Christmas supplies.

"The extra spend in the first seven days of December on food and liquor has been noticeable this year, suggesting people are keen to stock their cupboards for Christmas meals and to socialise with family and friends."

The focus of spending would now shift more to department stores and furniture/appliance stores, based on 2012 spending, he said.

During November, a number of sectors continued to perform well, including hardware stores being up 15 per cent year-on-year, takeaways (9.7 per cent) and cafes and restaurants (11.4 per cent), all of which have been at the fore of growth momentum through the year.

In recent months there had also been an acceleration of spending at liquor outlets (12.6 per cent), furniture stores (15 per cent), footwear stores (10.4 per cent) and accommodation providers (9 per cent).

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- The Timaru Herald

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