27 Dec 2018

Boxing Day shoppers spent about $140m this year

3:40 pm on 27 December 2018

New Zealanders on shopping sprees spent up a storm on Boxing Day.

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Whanganui and Gisborne recorded the strongest growth in Boxing Day sales this year, according to Paymark. Photo: 123RF

The national payment system, Paymark, says about $140 million were spent by shoppers this year, up 11 percent on last year.

Paymark spokesperson Paul Brislen said Whanganui and Gisborne recorded the strongest growth, increasing more than 20 percent.

He said the poor weather was a deciding factor in people heading to the sales.

"Kiwis do like to have something to do on Boxing Day itself - get out of the house and have a bit of a potter around, particulary if it's wet," he said.

"It's more of a social occassion, rather than just a straight out shopping spree. But it's very still much part of the landscape."

They recorded 2.5 million debit and credit card transactions, he said.

Earlier this week, Consumer NZ warned people to be wary of spending up large on their credit cards in the Boxing Day sales.

Chief executive Sue Chetwin said shoppers should research products carefully before buying, to make sure they were the right things.

"What can happen that you've got something heavily discounted but discount is soon eaten up with the interest rate that you're paying on the credit card if you don't pay your card off in full," Ms Chetwin said.

"We know some people get a bit of a shock when their bills come in January and February just how much they have spent pre Christmas and then in the Boxing Day sales."

Ms Chetwin said retailers were not obliged to refund or exchange products unless they were faulty.