Kiwis spent $442 million over the Black Friday weekend, up more than 85 per cent from the $238.2m spent last year.

On the Friday alone, New Zealanders spent $69.7m at non-food retail shops, an increase of 54 per cent on a typical Friday, surpassing the $68m spent on Boxing Day last year, according to figures from Paymark.

Black Friday is now on par with Boxing Day in terms of the magnitude of spending, but both are still not as big as Christmas Eve - the biggest shopping day of the year.

Sales on Christmas Eve last year surpassed $82m.

Advertisement

Paymark also added that Boxing Day was likely to surpass Black Friday this year.

Spending on Saturday following Black Friday was up 15.9 per cent on the previous Saturday and up 8.3 per cent on the same day last year.

Taking into account all spending over the Black Friday weekend, including food, liquor and fuel, the total spend came in at around $442m.

A Paymark spokesman said Black Friday was driven by retailers, and had proven to be popular with Kiwis.

"In the lead up to Christmas they have discovered this bandwagon that's taking place overseas, and jumped on it wholeheartedly and it's proving to be very, very popular.

"For customers, they get to do their Christmas shopping a little bit ahead of time but also access to some really good discounts and opportunities in previous years that may not have been there."

The spokesman said Black Friday and Boxing Day complemented each other.

"You will get people who have traditionally waited until Boxing Day and the sales come along and they get very excited and go out and spend up large, and that's seen as the final step in the Christmas spending cycle - I don't think that is going to go away any time soon, certainly the indications are that Boxing Day sales aren't declining, Black Friday sales are in addition to that."

Advertisement

Retail NZ general manager of public affairs Greg Harford said Kiwis were now spending more than ever.

"Spending is certainly increasing year on year and in inflation adjusted terms ... we're actually spending substantial more on per capita and an inflation adjusted basis than we were 20 years ago.

"Kiwis are definitely getting out and spending more. Some of that is around housing, people today are feeling reasonably confident about the housing market, feeling a bit wealthier and perhaps prepared to borrow a little bit more."

Source: PriceSpy
Source: PriceSpy

Overall retail sales have been growing over the last few years, he said.

Kiwis were increasingly feeling squeezed in terms of household budget, which made sales such as those on Black Friday particularly attractive, Harford said.

"What we've seen over the past few years is Black Friday becoming an absolute juggernaut in terms of consumer spending. Boxing Day has always been a big sales day for Kiwis in the past, and Black Friday is certainly coming close to that."

Big ticket items such as appliances, electronics, clothing and apparel and homeware were traditional bigger sellers on both days.

"Today is Cyber Monday, again out of the US, the traditional day of online sales and while there are some retailers participating in that, this year from New Zealand, many retailers are actually continuing their Black Friday sales into Monday."

Harford said the Cyber Monday spend would likely be more muted than Black Friday's.