24 Jan 2014

NZers spending billions online

1:48 pm on 24 January 2014

The extent of online retail spending in New Zealand is now equal to that in Australia.

A report from Forsyth Barr says New Zealanders spent $3.7 billion online in 2013, up 15 percent on the year before.

The stock broking firm says online retail penetration is now around 7%, putting it on par with Australia.

It is forecasting online retail penetration to grow to 9 percent by 2016, though this is still well behind Britain which is at about 12 percent.

The Forsyth Barr report says e-commerce sales are the fastest growing stream of retail spending.

In terms of listed retailers, the brokerage firm says, Kathmandu and the Warehouse Group are the best placed to benefit from e-commerce, while it puts Hallenstein Glasson most at risk.

The report says books and music, apparel and electronic goods are the categories most likely to feel the impact of online sales.

This was underpinned by The Warehouse's trading update on Thursday where it pointed to margin pressure at it's general merchandise Red Shed stores. The group said it was experiencing a continued structural decline in CDs, DVDs and books.