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Late Night Christmas is returning!

News story
Wednesday 10 Apr 2019

We are very pleased to announce that Late Night Christmas is returning on Thursday 19 December 2019.  We will keep you posted with more info as we finalise what this year's event will look like. 

The decision to bring back the event comes off the back of receiving the official results for the inaugural Late Night Christmas which saw spending up for the whole of the Heart of the City, between 5 – 9pm, by 6.4%. See more highlights below. 

Photo: Sacha Stejko

On Thursday 20 December 2018 more than 100 stores along Queen Street and High Street opened their doors later (many until 9pm) to last minute Christmas shoppers. To build atmosphere and excitement during the event, we arranged more than 70 on-street performances in the area.

Britomart also got involved, trading late and putting on special entertainment alongside their Street Kai food trucks. Similarly, Federal Street added to the festive night-time atmosphere with live music, Christmas entertainment and El fresco dining until 10pm - as part of SKYCITY’s 12 Days of Christmas Wonderland.

Here are some of the top line results from Late Night Christmas 2018:

  • Among the retailers who took part in Late Night Christmas, spending during the hours of the event (5-9pm) was up 34% versus the same time frame on the comparable Thursday in 2017.
  • Similarly, the number of transactions during the event was up 35% for participating retailers, compared with the same time frame on the comparable Thursday in 2017.
  • Our pedestrian counts showed that foot traffic in the city centre during the event was up 20% overall compared to the same time the previous year.
  • We also completed a street survey on the night and more than 50% of the people surveyed said the event made the city centre more appealing and in addition to enjoying the street performances, nearly 40% said they were visiting retail stores that evening, with people commenting that they were in fact doing their Christmas shopping that night.

Inaugural events like this are always a bit of a ‘test and learn’ as we find out what works well and what could be done differently. 

By working together we can all help grow the night time economy in the city centre – which is already valued at about $450m a year and which has significant potential to grow further.