3 Jun 2021

NZ Post investing millions as delivery business grows amid pandemic

3:26 pm on 3 June 2021

The effect of the pandemic on New Zealanders' online shopping habits is evident in new spending numbers.

Post shop in Johnsonville

Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

NZ Post's annual report on e-commerce trends shows online spending grew 25 percent in 2020 with the total dollar figure at $5.8 billion.

First-time online shoppers totalled 306,000 and online spend for the 60-plus age group rose 30 percent.

NZ Post chief executive David Walsh said local retailers benefitted hugely from the push to "buy local" but the challenge ahead of them now was maintaining the growth.

"If you think about New Zealand, where about 11 percent of all retail shopping is now done online - in parts of Europe and the UK that's getting close to 20 percent."

Walsh said New Zealand retailers were starting to improve their websites, their click -and-collect options and working on their distribution.

"NZ Post has been keeping pace with that growth, but we know we have to invest significantly to keep up with it.

"In the next three years, we're spending about $170 million on increasing our processing and information capacity, just so we can keep supporting those businesses as they grow," he said.

The company would also bring its parcel brands - Pace and CourierPost - under the one NZ Post banner to try to cement its position as a market leader in parcel distribution. The NZ Post brand's look would also change in a refresh in June.

"The history has been posting traditional letters and communications. What we're evolving into is a delivery business," Walsh said.