That is what is implied by this article in the Herald.
The Warehouse is a huge retailer in New Zealand, and with their Christmas retail sales disappointing this is bound to cause some concern. However, this does not necessarily imply that the New Zealand retail sector struggled during Christmas.
Why? Well, many people believe (rightly or wrongly) that the Warehouse generally sells a set of “inferior goods“. Given this perception, if household experience an increase in their expected lifetime income they may well switch from buying things from the Warehouse and buy things from other places instead.
Even so, there are other indicators that suggest that December was weak. Everyone could see the strong sales that were occurring before Christmas Day, and in many places there was the feeling that the crowds were a touch on the low side. We will have a better idea on the 15th, when Stats NZ releases the Electronic Card data for December.