New Zealand’s move to alert level 2 has seen a return to strong consumer spending in Whanganui. According to a report from Marketview, local spending from 11th to 17th May increased by 5.5% versus the same week last year.
The increase locally compares to a 11.2% drop across New Zealand, suggesting consumers in other regions have been more reluctant to re-open their wallets post-lockdown.
The improved numbers reflect significant increases in sales of clothing, footwear and at department stores among others.
Mark Ward, Chief Executive of Whanganui & Partners, says the numbers continue to reinforce economists’ views that Whanganui is well-positioned to come out of the crisis.
“We’ve tracked the retail figures every week and we’ve consistently stayed ahead of the national trends. Since COVID first started impacting our economy at the start of February, our consumer spend has gone down by 11.9% compared to the same period last year. The whole country is down by 20.6% for that same period.”
“Reaching our return to year-on-year growth before the majority of the country shows that we’ve retained momentum. This growth in consumer spend is what our businesses need to make inroads into the losses experienced through lockdown,” Ward said.
“This has been a hugely disruptive period for our business community and businesses’ quick adaption to changing regulations and demand has been truly inspirational. Our consumers have continued to spend with them throughout the period, even in level 4, and that’s great for our whole economy.”
Ward reflected that businesses are not yet out of the woods,with the hospitality sector in particular still reporting low numbers and experiencing a drop in potential capacity due to the regulations around social distancing.
“We’re encouraging locals to get out there and spread their money around – visit that café or restaurant you might not have tried before. We also intend to continue to grow our market share of national visitor spend by promoting weekend trips to our region. Whanganui & Partners is working hard to tell the Whanganui story and keep us going on the right track.”
“If your business is still fighting the impacts of COVID-19, please give the Whanganui & Partners team a shout. We are here to keep your business moving forward.”
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