Absence of Rhythm and Vines starting to hit businesses in the pocket
The absence of Rhythm and Vines is hitting accommodation providers and retailers in the pocket, with one major electronic payment processor recording a big drop in spending.
Data from Worldline (formerly Paymark), which processes credit and debit card transactions, noted for the week ending December 19 spending on accommodation here fell 35.2 percent on the same week last year, when spending hit $240,000 for the week.
In fact, across all of Worldline's processing network, Gisborne was the only place in New Zealand not to experience a rise in accommodation spending, Worldline's Head of Data George Putnam said.
“Notably, spending through Worldline's payment network at accommodation merchants in Bay of Plenty ($1.6m) jumped 43% in the first five days following the easing of restricted travel across the Auckland boundary, compared to the same five days one week earlier.
“Movement to this region is typical for this time of year but the increased accommodation spending in recent days occurred earlier this year, coinciding with the removal of the Auckland travel restrictions,” Mr Putnam said.
Emerald Hotel Gisborne manager Rupeet Kaur said normally the hotel would be fully-booked with R and V guests but not this year.
“It's pretty dead at the moment.
“January is getting booked out but December, last week was totally dead. Initially, the first two weeks of January are busy but then it gets quiet until the first week of February.”
Retailers have also noticed fewer sales, with Worldline seeing a 5.2 percent drop in core retail transactions, down $430,000 on the same week, last year.
During the normal R&V season McDonald's Gisborne has at times had the highest turnover of any New Zealand store.
“The numbers have surely dropped,” Gisborne franchise owner Pooja Goel said.
“R&V takes it to another level for us every year. However, we were prepared for the drop since we heard the cancellation news.
“The past few weeks have been much quieter.”
Mitre10 Gisborne co-owner Geoff Taylor said while there had not been a reduction in customer counts, the lack of the R&V crowd could impact on the store's cafe.
“We don't expect it to be much quieter, as I am sure we will see more locals out and about than normal.
“The whole Hardware/Building sector has seen high levels of growth as a result of Covid-19, possibly due to people being unable to travel internationally.
“We have lifted our stock levels during the year as we thought there would be shortages closer to Christmas.
So, we are lucky that we currently have good levels of stock. While we do buy additional lines for R&V, we have no problems holding these until Easter.
“We are actually trying to source some additional lines as the weather conditions will be a lot different at that time of year, that is,more gumboots and rainwear.”