Thursday, 21 December 2017

Leaving your Christmas shop until the last minute? You’re not alone!

It looks like we never learn. New World has shared some details on how there’s always a panic as New Zealand hurtles towards the combined Christmas and summer break. Our habit is showing no sign of being broken.

Emily Blumenthal manages New World’s Customer Experience and tries to ensure that New World supermarkets do their best to cater to frantic Kiwis at this busy time of the year. “We have more than one million people through our stores on a regular week – so you can just imagine what it’s like at this time of the year. 43% of our customers do their largest shop in the week before Christmas versus 31% whose largest shop is the week prior. This is probably due our customers wanting to have the freshest cherries and plumpest chook possible for Christmas Day – and we’re happy to oblige.”

The stats make for interesting reading as we get closer and closer to the big day. From 7 pm onwards on Christmas Eve there are some specific products which start to dominate the shopping basket as customers put the finishing touches on their plans. “Our customers stock up late in the day on Cadbury’s Favourites (the last minute gift), cream, strawberries and bananas, Nestlé Reduced Cream and Onion Soup (for the classic Kiwi dip), milk for restorative cups of tea and a bit of fizzy as a special treat on the biggest day of the year,” says Blumenthal.

“It’s interesting to note that the average age of shoppers starts to fall as we get close to the wire – older customers, with more experience, seem to be better organised about their shopping.

“One of the funniest things we noticed has to do with what ends up in people’s baskets as we near closing time. In the North Island there’s a big spike in gift wrap, while in the South Island it’s all about the energy drink! The wrapping paper is obvious, but we reckon the energy drink is possibly down to having to summon up the will to push through the last preparations for Christmas Day.”

Once the bedlam of present unwrapping, church services, and general demolition of the leg of lamb, turkey, roast chicken or salmon fillet is over and done with on Christmas Day, we’re back into the stores on Boxing Day.

“In amongst the crowds exchanging unwanted or incorrectly sized gifts and spending up large on gift cards, New World customers are re-stocking essentials. The first hour of Boxing Day sees sales surge across the country of bananas, avocados, bread, milk and the newspaper plus rubbish bags, pastries and sweetcorn. Other purchases suggest that Christmas Day may have been a bit more eventful than expected. Carpet cleaner, sticking plasters, paracetamol and Disprin fly out the door on Boxing Day to take care of life’s little messes.”

Blumenthal says, “With a bit of planning you can avoid mayhem, but we’re well stocked and ready to roll for this year’s crazy week of shopping. Our friendly staff will be working pretty hard to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible. Please feel free to wish them a Merry Christmas – they are doing their level best to make sure yours is the best it can be.”

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