27 Dec 2016

Boxing Day spending hits new high

11:28 am on 27 December 2016

Consumer spending on Boxing Day hit a record high this year - though only just.

Long queues of shoppers waited to get into clothing retailer H & M at Auckland's Sylvia Park Mall.

Long queues of shoppers waited to get into clothing retailer H & M at Auckland's Sylvia Park Mall yesterday. Photo: RNZ / Veronica Schmidt

The latest Paymark figures showed a modest increase of 1.9 percent on Boxing Day last year, to nearly $153 million.

Wellington topped the list as the centre with the highest growth, with spending increasing by 4.8 percent, while Auckland crept up by 0.7 percent.

Paymark spokesperson Paul Brislen said the low Auckland figures hinted at more people being out of the city this year.

Some centres such as Gisborne, Wanganui and Hawke's Bay saw spending go backwards on last year.

Mr Brislen said the reason is surprisingly simple: Boxing Day spending is weather-dependent.

"If it's a nice day people tend to not go to the mall. If it's raining or miserable or anything untoward then people do think, well, I may as well go and hit the sales."

Wellington's spending figures seemed to buck that trend though, with the capital basking in cloudless weather for much of the day.

This year's Boxing Day sales followed strong pre-Christmas spending, which has so far seen December spending increase by about six percent on last year.

The record day for spending this year was December 23, which saw $306 million dollars pass through the Paymark network.