Consumer demand strong through festive season

8 January, 2007 at 10:47 am | Posted in Economy | Leave a comment

South African consumers remained optimistic over the festive season despite recent interest rate hikes, spending on items such as general consumer goods, groceries and gifts.

According to I-Net Bridge, festive season spending rose 28%, despite rising interest rates and a further rate hike, which is expected next month when the monetary policy committee of the South African Reserve Bank meets.

Pick ’n Pay financial director Dennis Cope said that the group was satisfied with its turnover during the Christmas period, as sales increased 12%-15%. He said Pick ’n Pay’s bakeries, fast foods, cheese counters and butcheries performed well as customers purchased more convenience foods.

Shoprite marketing director Brian Weyers said that the group had one of its best-ever Christmas sales periods. Sales in the first week after Christmas had been “exceptional”.

The latest Deloitte annual consumer survey of Christmas spending showed that hypermarkets were the most visited channel for Christmas shopping in SA, while the most money spent was at speciality clothing shops.

The survey, released before the festive season, showed that spending by South African consumers over the festive season was expected to be 18,5% higher than the previous year, the largest growth in spend among all the countries surveyed.

Consumers from emerging countries such as Russia, Turkey, Cyprus and SA spend 6%-13% of their household revenues during the year-end holiday period, the survey found. With I-Net Bridge.

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