Tills still ringing in January for city firms

By Astrid Austin

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Paymark figures revealed that shoppers in Hawke's Bay spent $130.3 million in January; a 7.3 per cent increase compared to the year before.
Paymark figures revealed that shoppers in Hawke's Bay spent $130.3 million in January; a 7.3 per cent increase compared to the year before.

The long weekend saw some people get in touch with their cultural side and some hit the beach while many got their wallets out, as the sales proved a success.

February is set to be another stellar month for retailers.

January did not disappoint, carrying on where December's spending left off.

In the last three months of 2015 $72.6 million was spent in Hastings CBD shops and eateries.

Paymark figures revealed that shoppers in Hawke's Bay spent $130.3 million in January; a 7.3 per cent increase compared to the year before.

Chief marketing officer Tim McFarlane said the figures were in line with expectation for the summer months.

"After Christmas, spending is usually somewhat lower although January traditionally sees an increase in accommodation."

The electronic payments company, which processes more than 75 per cent of the country's electronic figures said this year, accommodation was up 30 per cent, plus food and beverage services were up 24 per cent and entertainment, including movies up 20 per cent.

Figures from Hawke's Bay, as well as Southland, Gisborne and Otago, were also strong with growth in both credit card and debit card use.

The surge in spending has seen many cafes opt to discard the surcharge, however some restaurants passed the extra cost of opening on a public holiday onto diners.

Bay Espresso owner Chris Jarvis said they had done away with surcharges for a number of years.

"We shut some shops, as it is not financially viable, but keep the others open. It has been slightly busier than a normal Monday."

Waipukurau cafe Espresso Loco had chosen to cover the cost of paying staff on a public holiday throughout the year.

Owner and operator Ness Cotterill said there was no point, as it was like any other day.

"We are busy all the time, so it doesn't make too much of a difference. Why would you when you can incorporate it over the year."

The same was felt by Box Espresso Bar in Clive, where the public holiday was treated like any other day.

"Most people appreciate it. We are busy either way, but we have gotten a lot of out of town visitors," owner Al Borrie said.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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