Westfield says its malls were packed with shoppers on Boxing Day, despite Paymark figures showing people spent almost $3 million less than last year. The value of sales dropped by nearly 3% compared with last year.
Group spokesperson Deb McGhie says all its centres were "buzzing", with people redeeming vouchers and taking advantage of the sales.
Based on feedback from other Westfield malls in Christchurch, Wellington, Hamilton and Auckland, she says the centres appeared just as busy as last year.
Ms McGhie says it's difficult to compare the exact sales and foot traffic for the Christmas shopping season with last year's, because retail figures for the December period will not be available until mid January.
Boxing Day figures
Paymark, which calculates the amount of Eftpos and credit card transactions, says $98.9 million was spent at the shops on 26 December, $3 million less than in 2009. The number of transactions dropped by 6.7%.
Paymark spokesperson Paul Wiston says it's a significant drop, given that sales last year were higher than in 2008 - and even more significant when inflation and October's 2.5% GST increase are taken into account.