Taranaki retailers had a strong run up to Christmas, VT has found

Retail sales in Taranaki over the Christmas and New Year holiday period were up 3% on last year, ahead of nationwide growth of 2.5%, accordingly to independent retail statistics commissioned by Venture Taranaki.

Read the latest retail staistics here. 

“$144.3M was spent via EFTPOS and credit cards in the region’s retail outlets during the month of December 2019,” says Justine Gilliland, Chief Executive of Venture Taranaki.

“Spending by international visitors was up 25% from last December, and while it represents a relatively small proportion of the overall spend, its rapid growth is a reflection of the region’s strengthening international tourism profile.”

While most spend occurred within the New Plymouth District ($110M), the biggest growth was in South Taranaki where retail sales of $23.2M were up 7.9% relative to December 2018. Stratford District recorded $10.6M in sales, up 4.3%.

Within New Plymouth District, the CBD remains a prime retail magnet, with $45M spent in this inner-city zone, up 2.9% on December 2018. The Valley attracted $19.4M in sales – down 0.7% on last year.

Groceries and liquor, fuel, and department store spending saw the bulk of the region’s spending, accounting for over $95M of the total $144.3M.

Fast-growing areas included spend on home and hardware – up 8.8% - while spending in the region’s cafés and bars also grew strongly, up 7.5% on last December.

“The overall growth in spending in December, driven by increases in home improvement and hospitality, is a signal that the region’s residents were feeling good about things at the end of last year,” says Venture Taranaki’s General Manager of Regional Strategy and Sectors, Anne Probert.

“Local residents appeared keen to take advantage of the summer weather to get stuck into some home improvements, while the jump in spending in our region’s hospitality industry also reflects the growing popularity and number of options available in our café culture, which further reflects the vibrancy of the region.”

“It will be of little surprise that the busiest days were 23 and 24 December with around $7.6M going through the tills of local merchants each day. There were 157,778 transactions on 24 December alone!” Anne said.

And while Boxing Day sales were down 0.5% compared to last year, bargain hunters were out in force for the New Year sales, with spend on 30 December up 36.4% and 31 December up 16.9% on the same days in 2018.