Kiwis spent more on food and liquor this Boxing Day, but overall retail spending was down on last year, according to nationwide transaction figures.

The data was released by Worldline New Zealand, formerly Paymark, which suggested the results were in line with trends over the past six months.

Consumer spending on core retail merchants, excluding hospitality, reached $98.3 million on Tuesday, which was down 0.6% on the same day last year, but up 2.4% on 2019.

However, average spending at food and liquor stores – including cafés, takeaways, bars, etc – was up 14.1% on last year to $14.6 million.

Worldline New Zealand sales chief Bruce Proffit said the drop in spending would be disappointing for retailers, but that it was in line with half-yearly trends.

He said the peak transaction minute on Boxing Day was at 12.34pm when 6074 payments were processed through the provider’s network – though the rate was 44% lower than last Friday, which was officially the busiest shopping day of the year.

The figures primarily reflect transactions undertaken within stores but also include some online transactions, according to Worldline.

Overall, annual regional spending growth for Boxing Day was the highest in Otago (up 9.4%) and Wairarapa (up 8.5%), while the largest decline was in Wellington (down 10.8%).

Boxing Day spending grew in Waikato, Whanganui, Palmerston North, Wairarapa, Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast, Canterbury, Otago, and Southland, whilst falling in other regions.

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