Online shopping in New Zealand’s state Taranaki grew 80 per cent during lockdown

People are shopping at a supermarket to reserve foodstuffs due to Covid-19. Photo: The Hanoi Times. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

WELLINGTON, Aug 6, 2020, Stuff. Online shopping in Taranaki increased 80 per cent when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, but in-store spending has bounced back post-lockdown, Stuff reported.

Research conducted by NZ Post found Taranaki was in the top three regions for growth in online shopping during lockdown, with residents spending $45.6 million in total across April, May and June.

The average transaction was $111 and the growth was well ahead of the national average of 46 per cent.

NZ Post general manager of business marketing Chris Wong said behaviour in shopping had changed thanks to Covid-19.

“In Taranaki, the fastest growing online shopping categories were homewares, appliances and electronics, which grew a massive 219 per cent.”

But the biggest growth was on DIY materials and supplies, which grew more than 650 per cent across the three months, and was up by 2200 per cent in April, Wong said.

“This speaks to the lifestyle change we all experienced, where suddenly we had more time to spend at home working on those outstanding DIY tasks.”

Wong said online speciality food, groceries and liquor sales grew 115 per cent during the three months.

But the love for online shopping hasn’t stopped people hitting the shops in New Plymouth’s CBD.

Venture Taranaki figures show the region has been consistently above the national average retail spend by 8.5 per cent since lockdown restrictions lifted.

Home and recreational retailing has consistently been the category of largest spend increase for Taranaki, up 28.3 per cent on the week ending July 26.

Chloe Reid, the online and marketing manager for New Plymouth high fashion store Et Vous, said the store’s online shop had massive uptake during lockdown, but the in-store sales bounced right back when people were allowed to shop in-person again.

“We’ve had a lot more people through the door,” she said.

“Straight after lockdown it was a lot more than normal, and as the weeks went on it went back to normal.”

New stock and in-store sales were bringing locals and visitors into the store, she said.

“There has been a big difference of people being in here rather than online.

“It’s great. It’s amazing all of our local customers are jumping back on board and loving being back in store.”

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