Kiwis spending up large, almost $1 billion spent shopping, dining out in last week

Spending is surging this silly season, with the amount of cash being splashed at the shops already above last year. 

New payment data out on Monday from Worldline shows almost $1 billion has been spent shopping and dining out in the past week but more is still needed to help businesses recover.

After months locked at home, Kiwis are living it up. Shops, restaurants and bars are back open, and so too are people's wallets. 

"We've been pretty surprised really at how strong it's been," Commercial Bay retail manager Andrew Trouson tells Newshub. 

The country has been feeling the freedoms of the traffic light system for ten days and in just the past week, Kiwis have spent at least $800 million at the shops.

This is more than last year, and more than the year before that. 

"It would have been nice to have a few more weeks in the runway up to Christmas but I think people are just thankful to have the Christmas season to spend, which is typically the peak trading period," Trouson says.  

The biggest buying boost is in hardware and furniture but beauty offerings, like Botox and brows, are booming too. 

"Oh so busy, Christmas is our busiest time period anyway and having four months worth of backlog has made it even crazier than normal," Off & On national trainer Hannah Pickering tells Newshub. 

Aucklanders are looking a bit better as they head for the bars. They've spent up-large on eating and dining out recently but the rest of the country has started to spend less on hospitality. 

Those that are splashing the cash, aren't holding back. The lockdown savings are allowing for the more lavish things in life. 

"I guess after being locked down for so long, people are keen to get out and the experiences we offer are certainly once in a lifetime for a lot of people," Inflite Group chief executive Adam Joyce tells Newshub. 

Private helicopter company Heletranz has seen locals play tourists but they really need the borders back open to make up for lockdown losses. 

"A business like ours that's spread across the country, we really do need that business to make it sustainable," Joyce says. 

The silly season is already showing off as a big spender but business everywhere are saying here's hoping it lasts a little longer. 

Watch the full story above.