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Boxing Day sales movement proves strong as shoppers arrive at malls

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Shoppers turned out in droves for Boxing Day sales in malls across the country, giving retailers hope of ending the year on a high.

At Queensgate Shopping Center in Lower Hut, the day for retailers was busier than expected.

“The Christmas holidays are always a busy time for retail, and Queensgate has been busier than usual,” said Regional Center Director Jan Plummer.

Chris Wilkinson of First Retail Group said retailers have seen large crowds in downtown Wellington and on the Kapiti Coast, where many vacationers have stopped.

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“The weather was very good as it was nice as it was. We know the town is doing well and the Kapiti coast has been particularly crowded – the coastal land was very crowded, because a lot of people headed to the coast. It was stronger than last Christmas.”

It was a pleasant surprise because many retailers weren’t sure what to expect in terms of shopper numbers.

“It’s hard to tell because it’s been a dynamic year. With the challenges around entry and all these other aspects, it’s been a year like no other.”

“We expected people to want to spend more time with family and friends, maybe go back and enjoy the simpler things, but it was a really good day for the sector.”

All malls across the country are reporting a re-emergence of shopper numbers similar to pre-Covid levels.

“It’s your usual Boxing Day,” said Shelley Jenkin, national asset manager at Kiwi Property Group, which owns malls in Auckland, Christchurch, Palmerston North and Hamilton.

“The foot traffic is pretty much comparable to what we’ve seen in recent years. It’s really fun,” she said.

Price comparison site PriceSpy has released a survey of Christmas shoppers suggesting that Boxing Day sales may have slipped from Black Friday and Black Week to lose its spot as the biggest sales event of the year with fewer people planning to head to malls in search of bargains. .

Jenkin said whether this is true will not be known until spending data for Boxing Day is released.

Kiwi Property Group has foot traffic monitoring technology in its malls to track the numbers of people entering its malls, so it can manage social distancing requirements.

That was showing good foot traffic in all malls, including Sylvia Park and Lane Mall in Auckland, Jenkin said.

Amy Hines, a spokeswoman for Retail NZ, said store owners need a good boxing day because they have a lot of ground to make up.

“It’s too early to see the numbers yet, but we really hope that people out there are spending and shopping well, saying ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ to their retail workers,” she said.

“It will be critical. There was a $2 billion loss from the retail sector in September alone. It will be difficult to recover.”

The Sylvia Park shopping center in Auckland was crowded as people hunted for bargains at the Boxing Day sale.

Ricky Wilson/Staff/Staff

The Sylvia Park shopping center in Auckland was crowded as people hunted for bargains at the Boxing Day sale.

Haynes said the transaction numbers released by Worldline on Christmas Eve were disappointing.

“Transaction numbers were low, but that doesn’t necessarily mean spending was low,” she said.

Hines said Boxing Day sales tend to see a lot of people heading out to spend gift vouchers they received from loved ones on Christmas Day.

Sales are no longer just an in-store and in-the-mall phenomenon, as retailers like to offer the same discounts to people who choose to shop online.

As a result, Boxing Day sales now begin on Christmas Day.

Retailers are reporting courteous and respectful behavior from shoppers, including in relation to the wearing of masks.

Ricky Wilson/Staff/Staff

Retailers are reporting courteous and respectful behavior from shoppers, including in relation to the wearing of masks.

“Boxing Day has been the biggest day of fast shopping in New Zealand for many years, but recently we have seen a small shift in consumers’ shopping behaviors,” said Lisa Matinvesy-Bassett, Principal of PriceSpy New Zealand.

A survey by PriceSpy revealed that 36 percent of people shopped on Boxing Day last year, down from 42 percent the previous year.

“With Black Friday and Black Week becoming increasingly popular, people are increasingly looking to purchase discount items before Christmas, rather than waiting until after Christmas Day,” Matinvizi-Bassett

“For the first time ever, this year Black Friday may outpace Boxing Day in popularity, as people may instead choose to reconnect with friends and family after extended shutdowns rather than go to the stores.”

Downtown Downtown CEO, Viv Beck at Vulcan Lane Auckland.

Jason Dorday/Stuff

Downtown Downtown CEO, Viv Beck at Vulcan Lane Auckland.

The most popular searches on PriceSpy for Boxing Day sales were tech using headphones, and Apple AirPods and Dyson vacuum cleaners leading the searches.

One of the retail communities hard hit by the lockdowns was Auckland’s central business district, which has also been disrupted by the shutdowns. Large transportation projects such as Citt Rail Link.

The CBD appears to be enjoying a strong boxing day, buoyed by the nice weather, said Fifi Beck, CEO of Heart of the City.

“We have waiting lists in some stores. They look very good,” Beck said.

The bay shopping and hospitality business district also looked good.

“I won’t have numbers for a while,” she said, “but it feels like the life we ​​used to know with numbers of people around us.”

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