Retail card spending resurgence in June

Retail spending on furniture, hardware, appliances, and recreational goods helped boost June total sales up to $5.7 billion, Stats NZ said today.

“During the COVID-19 lockdown, which started late March, we saw a significant drop in spending as the majority of businesses closed. The full force of the lockdown on sales came into effect in April, with more typical total levels of spending returning in June,” retail statistics manager Kathy Hicks said.

Month$
Jun-185202179000
Jul-185255893000
Aug-185319596000
Sep-185314370000
Oct-185680681000
Nov-185874061000
Dec-186936024000
Jan-195653182000
Feb-195238730000
Mar-195754460000
Apr-195470002000
May-195520094000
Jun-195280275000
Jul-195359308000
Aug-195485007000
Sep-195345536000
Oct-195769564000
Nov-196171222000
Dec-197209206000
Jan-205891439000
Feb-205691140000
Mar-205651491000
Apr-202870608000
May-205188203000
Jun-205701230000

Of the six retail industries, spending increased for four (consumables, durables, apparel, and vehicles) compared with last June.

IndustryJun-18Jun-19Jun-20
Consumables569903300059892830006639913000
Durables374000100039080070003397766000
Hospitality295953000031331250001609366000
Fuel188424000017419730001046163000
Apparel938682000955326000618333000
Motor vehicles excl. fuel507077000521793000423232000

Retail therapy

Furniture, hardware, appliances, and recreational goods (durables) experienced the largest rise, up $310 million (24 percent) compared with June 2019.

“Businesses that sold furniture, supplies for DIY home projects, and snow gear, among other goods, experienced a decent boost this June,” Ms Hicks said. “New Zealanders were taking part in some well-deserved retail therapy after being unable to purchase these items in stores during lockdown.”

Health care spending revives in June has more information on card spending on durables sub-industries and other retail industries.

Supermarkets, specialised foods, and liquor stores (consumables) had the second largest increase, up $205 million (11 percent) on the same month last year.

“Consumables sales remain up this side of the lockdown, while the hospitality industry is still finding its legs. It seems people continue to spend more on groceries than on restaurants and eating out,” Ms Hicks said.

International travelling spend missed

Only two of the six retail industries (fuel and hospitality) experienced a drop in spending. Spending on fuel was down $84 million (15 percent), and on hospitality, it was down $74 million (7.3 percent) from June 2019.

“The drop in fuel spending would have been affected by cheaper pump prices and flexible working arrangements – many businesses only started returning to the office after the move to alert level 1 on 8 June,” Ms Hicks said. “While the hospitality industry is being propped up by domestic travel and tourism, it is still constrained without international tourism to boost the spending.”

Actual retail card spending using electronic cards reached $5.7 billion in June 2020, up $421 million (8.0 percent) from June 2019.

June quarter

Actual retail card spending using electronic cards was $18 billion in the June 2020 quarter, down $4.5 billion (20 percent) from the June 2019 quarter.

Quarter$
Jun-1517950650000
Sep-1518374054000
Dec-1520830213000
Mar-1619333638000
Jun-1619081270000
Sep-1619289579000
Dec-1621899337000
Mar-1721063898000
Jun-1720779292000
Sep-1720892561000
Dec-1723838747000
Mar-1822173792000
Jun-1821692609000
Sep-1822053450000
Dec-1824803434000
Mar-1922896324000
Jun-1922450224000
Sep-1922676144000
Dec-1925640545000
Mar-2023201796000
Jun-2017914570000

“The falls this quarter occurred primarily in April and somewhat in May, with June being a return to more usual card spending,” Ms Hicks said.

Retail card spending was down $2.5 billion (15 percent) for the June 2020 quarter, compared with the June 2019 quarter, with the majority of the retail industries experiencing falls.

Consumables was the only retail industry that didn’t experience a fall during the quarter. It was up $651 million (11 percent) from the June 2019 quarter.

IndustryJun-18Jun-19Jun-20
Consumables188593200019477300002152680000
Durables123702100012851510001595593000
Hospitality9585170001007511000933504000
Fuel629357000550402000466079000
Apparel313044000312479000330323000
Motor vehicles excl. fuel170792000170077000215044000

“Supermarkets and grocery stores were one of the main essential services that didn’t close during the lockdown, and the card spending reflects that,” Ms Hicks said.

/Stats NZ Public Release. The material in this public release comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.