Spending down significantly as region goes to level 4.

Retail data for the week ending 29 March shows a significant decrease in spending as the region moved into Alert Level 4 of the COVID-9 response, with a 15.7% drop in spending for the week in Taranaki, against a national average decrease of 22.7%. 

View the retail spending data here. 
 
Transactions were also down 44.4% on the same period a year ago, reflecting the majority of retailers closing for business on Wednesday 25 March as the country went into lockdown.
 
The sharpest declines were seen across hospitality and accommodation - down 81.9% - and clothing, footwear and department stores, down 84.8%.
 
“This data doesn’t come as a surprise” says Anne Probert, Venture Taranaki’s general manager of regional strategy and sectors.
 
“The restrictions placed on retailers while New Zealand remains under alert level four mean many have halted trading entirely, with the likes of hospitality, accommodation, and discretionary retail being hit the hardest.”
 
“Essential services and goods, like supermarkets and pharmacies, remain open, with shoppers spending more than usual at these essential services as they plan ahead. Spending across food, liquor and pharmacies was up 38% on the same period last year.”
 
“Many retail businesses had already started to feel the impact of COVID-19 prior to the move to Level 4, with varying impacts ranging from sudden intensity of demand of certain products or services, to people starting to stay away.”
 
“The lockdown has now curtailed shopping across most retail sectors, and led to some heavy declines in spending as a consequence.”
 
“Changes to the definition of essential services, which have allowed some retailers to reopen with an online or contactless presence offering a limited product range, will likely stimulate a small increase in retail, but the hit to overall spending will continue for weeks to come,” Anne says.
 
“The challenge for our retailers, hospitality and other consumer-facing businesses is to utilise the support mechanisms available to ensure they can keep the staff and premises to be able to hit the ground running when the current restrictions end, but doing this in a way that will work within whatever the future economic landscape will look like.”
 
“One factor in considering that future economy is a potential loss of international spending. The region’s international visitor spend was down 37.2% compared to this time last year.”