Spending by international and domestic tourists in Palmerston North and Manawatū is up in the second quarter of 2017 according to the Marketview Quarterly report (year ending 31 July).

The domestic tourism spend grew by 6.4% to $50.14 million, and international card spend grew by 6.6% to $2.41 million.

Overall, there was a 3.7% increase in spending in the city and district for the quarter with $313,834,790 spent and the number of transactions growing by 5.2%.

The fastest growing sector was in takeaways up 11.4%, hardware up 8.9%, department stores up 9.2%, and accommodation up 8.1%. As well as this, spending on appliances fell nearly 30% and furniture and flooring down nearly 25%. The largest spend by far is food retailing which grew by 4% and accounts for more than $102 million in the quarter.

Nearly all precincts measured, reported growth in the quarter excluding Palmerston North outer CBD which fell 0.8% and a drop in Sanson (likely due to growth in retail outlets in nearby Bulls).

The star performers include:

  • The rest of Palmerston North (excluding CDB, outer CBD, Broadway and Terrace End) is the largest precinct monitored – spending of $132,613,103 was recorded, up 5.3%.
  • Broadway – up 16.3% to $9.67 million
  • The rest of Manawatū (The District excluding Feilding and Sanson) spending jumped nearly 27% to $3.79 million (due to low base fluctuations are not uncommon).

CEDA Chief Executive Linda Stewart says Broadway’s renaissance continues – the $9.67 million spend in the quarter was the first time in a long time, the Street recorded a higher spend than the Terrace End precinct which recorded a $9.348 million spend.

“This is a significant shift. It is a clear signal to Broadway property owners that there is sustained growth in Broadway – it and Council’s plans to revamp the street should provide them with more confidence to invest in their buildings.”

Ms Stewart says the week leading up to Queen’s Birthday Weekend when $25M was spent, it was closely followed by Massey University Graduation Week, and then final week of the school holidays.

The increase in domestic and international tourism spend is more than likely related to Massey University’s Graduation Week. The increase has had positive flow on effects for accommodation, department stores and takeaway spending.

The highest spending week was the week ending 4 June when over $25 million was spent. During the rest of June, spending was subdued (in line with spending in other regions monitored).  However, there was a significant increase in spending during the last week of the school holidays, with $24 million spent (this increase was not in line with other markets we monitor which remained subdued).

Proportionally, spending online both locally and internationally is similar to the national average. However, the amount spent online by locals on international sites is lower than the national average.

“In some ways, the stats could be interpreted as the calm before the storm. A retail shock is coming,” says Ms Stewart.

“This is evidenced by increased courier freight across the country, and Amazon’s expansion into Australasia. Kiwis are traditionally early adopters of technology – we led the world in the adoption of EFTPOS and the signs are there that we’ll do the same with online shopping.”

“Our retailers need to provide both an in-store customer experience and an online presence in order to retain custom,” says Ms Stewart.

The Marketview report provides business owners with insights that will give them the confidence to target new consumer groups and to choose opening hours. The report highlights that most purchases occur between midday and 4 pm and that Saturdays are the busiest day of the week.

Commissioned every quarter by the Central Economic Development Agency (CEDA), the Marketview Report provides an insight into retail spending in Manawatū for the three months to the end of July 2017. The data represents the total value of electronic card retail transactions. It’s based on hybrid data using BNZ cardholder data, which has a 20% share in the New Zealand market and Paymark merchant data and is New Zealand’s largest EFTPOS network.

You can find the full Marketview Quarterly Update here.

For more information:

Linda Stewart
Chief Executive
Central Economic Development Agency
027 801 6434

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