With the tight economy and consumers tightening their belts you might think we’re in for a dreary Christmas, but these 2017 Christmas retail spending habits and stats would be sure to lift your mood. Christmas 2018 will be as jolly as ever!

Who will be getting the biggest slice of the retail pie?

BankservAfrika, Africa’s largest automated payments clearing house, found that the most spending in December went towards food. Typically a time for loads of house guests and holiday travels, it is no wonder that food is at the top of the shopping list, but let’s take a look at where the shopping has taken place.

Most purchases recorded were made at grocery stores and supermarkets, followed by service stations, eating places and restaurants. These trends present great marketing opportunities and with the road trip and holiday planning taking place an estimated 80 days in advance <link> now’s the time to start advertising for the holiday season.


Stats show greater spending tendency towards consumables

BankservAfrika’s Economic Transaction Index recorded the most purchases to have been made on the 23rd of December – a reminder to retailers to start their advertising soon, but not to relax before Christmas is officially over. Meat accounted for 8,1% of total sales income in 2014/2015 and with consumer tastes remaining the same, we can expect a similar approach this year.


What happened during the Christmas period in 2017? What can we expect?

MasterCard announced an increase of 3,8% year-on-year in retail spending in 2017 and BankservAfrika’s amount of transactions reached R51- billion. Pharmaceuticals, Medical Goods, Cosmetics and Toiletry sales climbed 6 percent year-on-year, after adjusting for inflation, showing the strongest growth the sector has seen in a year thanks to lower import prices.

Stats SA reported that R31 900 was spent per second in retail stores during the course of 2017.


Other interesting stats from 2017’s festive period:
  • The highest spend per swipe was R5-million in a single swipe – festive!
  • The person with the most activity on their account swiped 1,160 times in December.
  • The most purchases were recorded on 23 December.


Let’s get started – the sooner the better!

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