Total online retail spending in February was up 14% compared to the same month a year ago, helped along by an extra day for the 2016 leap year. Removing the leap year effect, the growth rate drops to approximately 10%. This is slightly slower than the growth trend we’ve seen in recent months, but still a solid performance.
Online spending at local merchants was up 10% on February last year, essentially mirroring the performance of physical stores (based on Statistics NZ figures for electronic card transactions). Food categories were very strong at domestic sites, with online sales for Supermarket/Groceries/Other Specialised Foods together up by more than 30% on February last year. Online clothing sales by local merchants were up 13% on last February.
For the 12 months ended February, Kiwis spent $3.3 billion online (excl. GST), across the categories we cover.