On a national stage, Manawatū and surrounding regions are performing particularly well when it comes to retail spending. It is the first time since June 2014 when the series began, that the quarterly and annual growth rates for each of the six district councils (Ruapehu, Whanganui, Rangitīkei, Manawatū, Palmerston North and Tararua, also known as the Horizons Region) have been above the national growth rate, according to Marketview figures on electronic card retail figures.
Even better, the combined growth rate for the six councils at 6.3% for the October quarter, is higher than the national increase of 4.3% in the same period. This trend has been occurring since January, and the gap in the growth rate is expected to keep growing, largely driven by stronger income and population growth across all regions, coupled with greater tourism spending.
At a local level, retail spending in Palmerston North City and Manawatū District maintained strong growth in the October quarter, with spend increasing by 5.7% to $313.6 million and transactions growing by 6% in the same period, according to the latest Marketview Manawatū Region Quarterly Report.
Locals are the biggest and most loyal spenders in Manawatū region, accounting for 71% of the total spend. The report also showed that the proportion of local cardholder’s spending going to local businesses this quarter, sits above the national average at 75.8% compared to 64.8%, respectively.
“We are a loyal community of shoppers,” said CEDA chief executive Linda Stewart. However, a steady rise of online shopping in the region (up 16.4% in the last quarter) is something shop owners should keep in the back of their minds.
“Our retailers can not take their eyes off the ball when it comes to competing in a digital marketplace. They need to ensure that the personal service and quality experience they provide remains a key point of difference and part of the shopping experience,” she said.
Online shopping should not be viewed as a threat, though. As shoppers spend more and more time online, businesses can build an online presence using digital and social media to reach and connect with consumers. They can build on relationships they have with existing customers, reach new ones, offer glimpses of what services and products they offer, and run promotional campaigns, for example.
The report revealed there was strong growth in people coming from outside the region, too, with visitor spend up 6.4% compared to the same quarter last year. International visitor spending spiked by almost 11% in the same period, accounting for $2.48 million of the total spend.
Broadway Avenue’s shopping precinct, through to Victoria Avenue, continues to experience rapid spending growth, now just shy of $9 million after an 11.2% rise in the past quarter. The rest of Palmerston North (which excludes the CBD, outer CBD, Broadway and Terrace End) collects the most spending at $134 million, and with a spending value of $3.9 million, Manawatū District (excluding Feilding and Sanson) saw the most significant change in spend at a whopping 23.2%.
Find the full Marketview Quarterly Report here.
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Note: The Marketview report is commissioned by the Central Economic Development Agency every quarter to provide an insight into retail spending in Manawatū. The data represents the total value of electronic card retail transactions and is based on hybrid data from BNZ cardholders, who make up 20% share of the cards market, and Paymark merchant data, New Zealand’s largest EFTPOS network.