Christmas Eve in 2021 held its position as the busiest shopping day of the year in New Zealand, but the number of transactions processed in the busiest hour was slightly lower than last year.

While sales figures for the full day of retailing are yet to be collated, Worldline has reported that the usual peak hour of spending between noon and 1.00pm reached 660,815 transactions, with the peak minute occurring at 12.13pm with 11,277 transactions, and the peak second occurring at 12.06:45pm, which hit 193 transactions in that second.

TRANSACTIONS 2021 2020 2019
Peak hour


(12 – 1pm)


(12 – 1pm)

679,436 [RECORD]


Peak minute



11,791 [RECORD]


Peak second



204 [RECORD]




Worldline NZ’s Head of Data, George Putnam, says that while this year’s number of transactions in the traditional peak hour of Christmas Eve shopping was slightly lower than last year, overall data shows that Kiwi retail shoppers have spent more this year than ever before.

“At the beginning of this week, with five days of pre-Christmas trading left, Worldline data showed that spending levels at core retail stores were trending well above levels at the same time last year,” says Putnam.

In 2020, a record $4.9B was spent through Worldline at the core retail stores in the six weeks before Christmas – supermarkets, department stores, appliance shops, clothing outlets, toy stores and jewellers. As of Sunday, 19 December 2021, this was already tracking at $4.3B for the same 37-day period.

“We will have a full breakdown of the numbers for the last full week of core retail selling prior to Christmas on the Monday after Boxing Day, but at this stage it looks like 2021 remains on track to see a new record spend for pre-Christmas shopping in New Zealand,” says Putnam.