Waikato shoppers keep tills ringing over the long weekend

17:00, Jun 03 2014

Waikato shoppers are some of the happiest in the country to part with hard-earned money, if spending over the Queen's Birthday long weekend is anything to go by.

Waikato punters pulled out the plastic and swiped 640,000 transactions between Saturday and Monday, up 10.3 per cent on last year.

Aside from Canterbury, that was the highest transaction level in the country, and the third-greatest percentage increase on last year nationally after the West Coast and Bay of Plenty.

The dollar spend also saw a bigger increase than most other regions, with Waikato locals spending a total of $27.9 million over the weekend, up 8.7 per cent on last year.

That was the fourth biggest percentage increase in spending across the country behind the West Coast (16.6 per cent), Southland (9.7 per cent) and Otago (8.7 per cent).

In dollar terms, Auckland's spend was streets ahead of the rest of the nation at $154.1m, with Canterbury coming in second at $45m and Wellington on $38.9m.


All up, Kiwis spent $385.1m on retail therapy this Queen's Birthday weekend, spread across 8.5m transactions.

Waikato mall owners have yet to crunch the numbers, but reported strong foot traffic over the weekend.

Centre Place centre manager Greg Wills said it sounded like the weekend had gone pretty well for retailers. "Saturday was a busy day."

Tainui Group Holdings chief executive Mike Pohio, whose company oversees The Base, said foot traffic on Monday had capped off a very good weekend.

"Retailers were gearing up for it being a good, strong weekend," he said.

Pohio estimated about 60,000 shoppers passed through The Base over the course of the weekend.

A Paymark spokesperson said accommodation providers had also experienced very strong trading over the extended weekend.

They said spending around the rest of the country was a "bit of a mixed bag" with some areas only experiencing minimal growth.

"In the Waikato the data shows good growth in terms of both the volume and value of transactions through our network."

The bank-owned eftpos operator processes around 75 per cent of all electronic transactions in New Zealand.

Waikato Times