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Worldline data shows strong start to Christmas retail season as extended Black Friday weekend sales rise above pre-Covid levels

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

New Zealanders are clearly warming to annual Black Friday sales trends, with Kiwi shoppers flocking to participating retailers over this year’s four-day weekend sales period (26-29 November), lifting spending to record levels in spite of Covid-19.

Spending through Worldline via the core retail merchants that tend to participate in Black Friday sales - including electronics and appliances, clothing, footwear, home and recreational wares, but excluding food, liquor and hospitality merchants - totalled $248.2 million in the four days from Black Friday to Monday, 29 Nov. This spending was up 7% on the same four days last year ($232m) and, significantly, was 11% above the pre-Covid levels of 2019 ($223m). The 2020-2021 growth was strongest in Taranaki (+24%) and Wairarapa (+16%).

WORLDLINE All Cards underlying- spending for Core Retail merchants excluding Food, Liquor and Hospitality for four days (26-29 November) 2021

Spending nationally through Worldline for the core retailers, excluding Food, Liquor and Hospitality merchants was highest on Black Friday (26 Nov), at $73 million, up 32% of the Friday one week earlier. Spending on the Monday through Worldline was similar to that of the previous Monday, but these transactions are largely in-store rather than the online market being targeted on the day.

The following graph shows spending in the Auckland/Northland region spiking higher over the four-day Black Friday to Monday weekend amongst electrical goods retailers, compared to the previous weeks.

"Overall, this record spend for the Black Friday sales weekend marks a strong start to the Christmas spending season", says Worldline’s Head of Data, George Putnam. "Covid-19 did impact on spending patterns between regions and sectors, but overall, people have gone out and taken advantage of the many sales on offer."

"The Covid effects tended to vary. Spending in regions such as Marlborough, West Coast and Otago was up on last year but remains below pre-Covid levels. Other regions outside the large centres, such as Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Wanganui and Wairarapa, experienced spending between 16 to 28% above pre-Covid levels," says Putnam. "Auckland/Northland spending growth was near the national average but did differ between sectors. Spending was very strong (+40% vs 2019) amongst the large group of Hardware and Furniture merchants, as has been the case since the 9th of November lockdown easing, while merchants selling Electrical goods traded below pre-Covid levels (-17%)."

"Outside the goods sectors, there also remains lower spending at cafes and restaurants in Auckland/Northland (-44% vs 2019), in contrast to moderate but nonetheless growth of 0.8% for the rest of the country".

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