Canadian merchants near NHL hockey arenas pay penalty for lockout

Moneris Spending Report shows overall decrease of -11.23 per cent in dollars spent, compared to 2011 game day

TORONTO, Dec. 4, 2012 /CNW/ - While the NHL lockout has left many Canadians frustrated over the cancelled hockey season, merchants closest to sporting arenas are being hit hardest in their pocketbooks. Data released by Moneris® Solutions, Canada's largest credit and debit card processor, showed that merchants at fast food businesses, restaurants and drinking establishments near NHL hockey arenas in Winnipeg, Vancouver, Toronto, Montréal and Calgary have experienced a sharp overall decrease of -11.23 per cent in spending in 2012, compared to a game day in 2011.

Drinking establishments in close proximity to hockey arenas have reported the most significant decrease in spending, at -34.68 per cent, compared to a game day in 2011. Fast food businesses and restaurants have experienced a decrease in overall dollars spent of -6.93 per cent and -10.54 per cent, respectively, compared to a game day in 2011.

This recent data also indicates that some Canadian cities have been more negatively affected than others. Fast food restaurants in Edmonton's arena vicinity have suffered a -27 per cent decrease in the volume of spending, compared to a game day in 2011. Montréal and Toronto have also been blind-sided, with a -21.39 per cent and -17.27 per cent decrease in dollars spent at restaurants and drinking establishments, respectively, compared to a game day last year.

However, not all merchants are feeling the damaging effects of the NHL lockout. The Moneris Spending Report indicates that fast food businesses, restaurants and drinking establishments outside the arena vicinities in Winnipeg, Vancouver, Toronto, Montréal and Calgary have experienced overall growth in dollars spent of 5.43 per cent, compared to a game day in 2011.

Overall spending at drinking establishments outside the arena vicinity on a game day is up significantly, with an 18.93 per cent increase in dollars spent, compared to a game day in 2011. Spending at fast food businesses and restaurants outside the arena vicinity on a game day is also up 11.54 per cent and 4.86 per cent, respectively, which is in line with data from Moneris' Spending Report for Q3 in 2012. In fact, both fast food establishments and restaurants have experienced 11.44 per cent and 4.84 per cent increases in spending during Q3, respectively, compared to the same period last year.

"While overall spending at establishments near hockey arenas is down, it would appear that Canadians are simply choosing to stick closer to home," said Jim Baumgartner, President and CEO, Moneris Solutions. "We will continue to monitor the full impact of the NHL lockout on merchants, both near and outside the vicinity of hockey arenas, throughout the remainder of the cancelled season to fully assess the impact that this strike has had on Canadian spending."

About The Moneris Spending Report
The Moneris Spending Report provides a snapshot of consumer spending activity in Canada by analyzing credit and debit card transaction data. As the market leader with the largest merchant base, Moneris presents detailed analysis and insight on a quarterly basis. The percentages cited are derived from actual sales volumes - the dollar values of credit and debit card transactions being processed by Moneris merchants.

About Moneris Solutions
As one of North America's largest providers of payment processing solutions, Moneris offers credit, debit, wireless and online payment services for merchants in virtually every industry segment and processes more than three billion transactions annually. Through its Ernex division, Moneris offers electronic loyalty and stored-value gift card programs. With more than 350,000 merchant locations, Moneris provides the hardware, software and systems needed to improve business efficiency and manage payments. For more information, please visit www.moneris.com.

SOURCE Moneris Solutions Corporation



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