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Greater Christchurch Retail Analysis Week ending 12 April 2020

Peter Fieger and David Dyason, ChristchurchNZ economists

Retail spending values for the week ending 12 April 2020 indicated an overall decline of 53.4 per cent spending in Greater Christchurch compared to the same week last year.

Spending has virtually ground to a halt in all retail areas with the exception of groceries and fuel/automotive spending.

Supermarkets continue to exhibit increased business in dollar terms (up by around 10 per cent compared to the same week last year), albeit at a lower rate than in the previous report (when it was up 29.8 per cent).

Retail Type Week ending 12 April; compared to same week last year
Food, Liquor & Pharmacies 9.7%
Hospitality & Accommodation -97.6%
Fuel & Automotive -75.1%
Clothing, Footwear & Dept. Stores -98.9%
Home & Recreational Retailing -98.8%
International -75.6%
Domestic -53.3%
NZ, all spending -53.4%


Spending patterns over time can be seen in Figure 1. We expect the current retail spending trend to continue while alert Level 4 is in place.

Figure 1

The recent provision to allow online essential shopping has likely supported retail spending, however, the value of these purchases is not captured in this data (which captures point of sale purchases).

With the guidelines set out by Government for activity allowed during alert Level 3, we expect some improvement in spending at more retail establishments, but it will continue to be significantly lower than previous years.

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