Consumers in the regions head to the shops over Queen’s Birthday weekend

Retail spending spiked over Queen’s Birthday weekend, as people crowded into the regions.

Close up of a customer hand paying with a contactless credit card reader in a bar

Photo: 123RF

New figures from payments provider Paymark show spending outside major centres was up 45 percent on the previous weekend.

“Some retailers will be very pleased by the month they’ve had… others not so much,” said Paymark sokesperson Paul Brislen.

Overall spending was still down about 1 percent year-on-year, driven by low sales from accommodation, cafes and bars, doctors, and, especially, tourism operators.

“They’re still very much off the boil, if they’ve got any transactions going on at all.”

He said he expected to see much more retail spending, especially in the regions, under alert level 1 due to the relaxed movement restrictions.

“Hopefully we will start to see a bit more of an uplift in the winter months in those traditional areas like Queenstown, Central Plains in the North Island associated with the ski season for example.”

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