We spend more online

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Nelsonians spend 15 cents of every retail dollar online, much more than the national average of 10 cents, according to data commissioned by Nelson City Council.

The data was collected by Market View and posted on the council’s website earlier this month. It shows how much is being spent in the retail sector, where that money is coming from and where locals are spending their money. Data from eftpos, debit and credit card holders – which makes up around 70 per cent of total spending – was used to collect the information.

The quarterly report was for the period ending September this year.

The data showed that for every retail dollar spent by someone living in the Nelson City Council region, almost 58 cents is spent in Nelson, 10 cents in Tasman, 17 cents in other parts of New Zealand and 15 cents is spent online.

Uniquely Nelson manager Simon Duffy – who has only been in the job a week – says it’s important for retailers to have an online presence and these stats back that up. “Whether we agree with it or not, people are shopping online and social media is important for retailer’s brands.”
Beetees co-owner Glen Beattie says they saw the importance of having a website so they created one about a year ago. He says, when fully stocked, it does work well with sales coming from as far away as Australia. But he says it is labour-intensive and items only sell quickly when heavily discounted.

“But we need to be there [online] and we see the value in it. Retail isn’t what it used to be so it’s important to be innovative and try things.”

Those thoughts were echoed by Tracey Brignole, owner of shoe store Soul and Maraposa. She says to maintain the website is costly but the orders help keep her staff busy during the quiet winter months.

“It’s a tool for us. We have a lot of out-of-towners who buy shoes in our stores and when they leave they ask where they can buy our shoes online.”

She says online shopping does have a downside for her though, with “showrooming”, or people going to a store to find the shoe and size they like and then trying to find it online at a cheaper price. “It’s a big issue for us. People will use our staff time and expertise and then go online to save as little as $10. We’ve got a few people who do it regularly so we have implemented a $20 fitting charge for them.”

Tracey says her stores still far out-sell the website, but she has had the odd day where online sales will out-sell one of her stores.

More spent in Richmond: The data has also revealed that more money is spent in Richmond’s CBD than Nelson’s, but that once you include the city fringe and suburbs, Nelson as a whole towers over Tasman.

The data shows that $59.2 million was spent in the Richmond CBD, compared to $37.8 million in Nelson’s CBD. But with the rest of Nelson, including the city fringe, Stoke, Tahunanui, and other areas, dragging in a combined $111.6 million, Nelson as a whole far outstrips Tasman for retail spend.

Simon says he isn’t concerned about the figures, because as soon as you include the city fringe, the spend is significantly higher than Richmond.

“I don’t know why there is this competition with Richmond, they are both very different destinations, Nelson has much more of a boutique feel.”