Spending is up significantly as New Zealand has moved down alert levels - but not everyone is getting the benefit.

Petrol stations, clothing and book stores and restaurants are among the financial losers while supermarkets have been making significantly more money than last year, according to the latest Paymark data.

Retail spending during level 4 was about half what it was last year, the data shows. If supermarkets, liquor stores and pharmacies are excluded, spending was down by 90 per cent.

But for the week ending May 17 - which included some level 3 and level 2 days - spending was down just 11 per cent on the same week in 2019. Without supermarkets, liquor stores and pharmacies, spending that week was down 26 per cent year on year.


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The previous week in level 3 saw total retail spend down 35 per cent or 66 per cent with liquor stores, pharmacies and supermarkets excluded.

Breaking down the data into different retailers shows the impacts of the lockdown have varied widely. While supermarkets and dairies have seen higher spending in all three levels, petrol station spend has been down ever since level 4 started.

Shops have opened their doors - but many are not as busy as they might have hoped on the first morning of alert level 2. Video / Supplied
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These two groups between them made up about 47 per cent of all retail spending before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Among the remaining merchants fortunes have varied widely. One small group - which includes pharmacies and fruit & vege shops - was down up to 50 per cent in level 4 but have bounced back strongly in level 3 to trade about 13 per cent better than last year, and in level 2 are trading about 27 per cent above 2019 levels.

A larger group, including some takeaway shops, specialist food stores, liquor stores, garden centres and shops selling goods like appliances, electronics and hardware saw almost no spending in level 4, and in level 3 was still running at -21 per cent on last year. But during level 2 so far this group has seen spending of 30 per cent more than 2019, on average.

The remaining merchants - including restaurants, cafes, motels and hotels, clothing, sports equipment and book shops - saw minimal spending in level 4 and 3 and are still down about 7 per cent on 2019 in level 2.

This group represents 28 per cent of Paymark's retail customers. Paymark said there is wide variation within the group - for example some clothes shops are seeing higher spending than last year in level 2 while others are well down.


Outside retail, a notable winner is the beauty and hairdressing group, which in level 2 is running at 61 per cent above last year.