DIY leading the charge in spending
Are you happier about spending money than you were a year ago?
Garden sheds and garages are brimming with hardware and gardening supplies like never before thanks to a DIY revolution defying the general retail gloom.
And Waikato shoppers are leading the way.
Figures out yesterday show a bounce back in national spending across the Paymark network just in time for spring, with stores linked to the building industry the big winners.
Paymark chief executive Simon Tong said DIY stores continued to show strong growth, with spending up 9.7 per cent August-to-August in hardware stores.
It comes as reality television show The Block New Zealand recorded high ratings, with hundreds of thousands of Kiwis tuning in each week to watch four couples each renovate a house.
"It is good news from an economic point of view," Mr Tong said.
And it is not just at the hardware store that Waikato shoppers are opening their wallets with across-the-board spending up 7.7 per cent, well above the national average of 5.5 per cent.
Paymark's regional data shows the Waikato spent $271.2 million in eftpos transactions last month, an increase of 7 per cent from the $253.4m at the same time last year.
"The Waikato has almost always been ahead of the game and our guess it is [because] the economy is farm-based."
Retailers Association executive director Russell Sinclair said the increase in spending was due to a positivity about Waikato and a rising confidence in house prices.
"There is a real dose of positivity about Waikato and I think a lot of that is based on the success of The Base and Chartwell [shopping centres]," he said. "I think that is stemming some of the retail flow that used to go from Waikato to Auckland when people would head out of town for a shopping trip."
Rising confidence in housing prices in Waikato had seen people spend more on doing up their home, he said.
"If they can see biggest investment appreciating, then they will be spending cash on bringing their house up to spec."
A bigger, and notably cheaper range, on the hardware shop shelves added to the spending boom, Mr Sinclair said.
"Today there is a bigger range of everything with more brands, opportunities and very attractive pricing."
Mitre 10 Mega Hamilton retail manager Garry Cornwall said weather was a big factor in the better retail figures.
"For a fair while it has been pretty rubbish weather and there was not a lot of people doing stuff around the house," he said.
"But we've had a bit of nice weather - the past weekend excluded - and we have been busier than ever."
And as the popularity of DIY grew, so too were the number of women rolling up their sleeves and getting stuck into things, he said.
"Traditionally women ask their husbands to get on to a DIY project but we're finding more and more women having a go themselves."
- © Fairfax NZ News