24 Dec 2014

Christmas shoppers leave it late

5:16 pm on 24 December 2014

Paymark says people are leaving their Christmas shopping even later than usual, with the highest ever peak transaction rate being recorded today.

Xmas shopping

Photo: 123rf

That followed the record set yesterday, when the $255 million spent throughout the country was the most ever in a day on Paymark's network.

The figure was up by nearly nine percent on the same day a year ago.

Paymark's head of customer relations Mark Spicer said today was busy too, with nearly 160 transactions-a-second during the midday hour.

"It's been particularly strong this year, one of the influencers there is that the period to have good purchases over the internet has now passed in time for Christmas, so people are out there hitting the malls and shopping directly with retailers."

He the biggest increase had been at supermarkets and food stores where sales yesterday jumped nearly 13 percent from last year.

Meanwhile, Mastercard said its survey of shopping trends showed people are doing the bulk of their Christmas shopping with local retailers and not online.

The survey of more-than 1000 people showed just 17 percent of presents this year would have been bought online, compared with 73 percent at retail outlets.

Mastercard's New Zealand manager Peter Chisnall said shoppers tended to want to inspect goods before purchase.

He said for those looking to do their Christmas shopping online, the choice between overseas and local websites depended on what item they are looking to buy.

He said while food and wine were the most popular in-store items purchased, the majority of shoppers were buying books and CDs online.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs