Local retailers had a record-breaking Christmas season, with consumers spending $57.5 million in Whanganui last December.
Whanganui & Partners’ Strategic Lead for Manufacturing,Logistics and Commercial, Rhonda Morris, says this result beats 2018’s record-setting spend.
“Our consumer spend is up 3.3% on last December,” said Morris. “Nationwide, consumer spend was only up 2.3%.”
Morris credits the growth to efforts of local business owners.
“2019 saw a lot of new and exciting businesses starting up.More choice attracts more customers into town, which is great even for our established businesses,” Morris said.
“Consumers have more options than ever, and the fact that somany are choosing to visit local retailers says something about the quality of the shopping and dining experience in Whanganui.”
She points to initiatives like Mainstreet’s Late Night Shopping and Christmas Night Market as great ways to encourage people to do their shopping locally.
“Anything that adds to the overall experience of shopping and dining is great for the commercial sector. Groups like Mainstreet devote a lot of energy to creating fun and social events that also benefit our businesses.”
Morris also says above-average increase reflects a healthy local economy.
“December is always our best month for retail, but activity in our commercial sector has been outperforming the nation all year. Over the entirety of 2019, our spend was up 4.7% on the year before. This is compared to spend nationwide, which was again only up 2.3%”
“We keep a close eye on this metric, not just because of its value to our commercial sector but also as a gauge for the overall economy.Consumer spending is a product of people having disposable incomes and enough confidence in the future to spend rather than save,” Morris said.
“When the spend is going up, it means that our community is feeling positive about their own financial situation and also where the economy is going.”
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