NHL hockey pumps money back into Canadian merchants' tills

Moneris Spending Report shows increase in overall spending of 8.96 per cent within restaurant sector on opening weekend, in Calgary, Montréal, Winnipeg and Vancouver

TORONTO, Jan. 23, 2013 /CNW/ - While many Canadians were excited by the return of the NHL hockey season this past weekend, perhaps none were more thrilled than the country's merchants. Data released by Moneris Solutions Corporation ("Moneris"), Canada's largest credit and debit card processor, showed that merchants from the restaurant sector (including fast food businesses, restaurants and drinking establishments) in cities where home games were played this past weekend - including Calgary, Montréal, Winnipeg and Vancouver - saw an overall increase in credit card spending of 8.96 per cent during the six hour time period analyzed, beginning two hours before game time, as compared to the previous weekend (January 12th and 13th).

Vancouver's restaurant sector experienced the highest increase in spending at 19.34 per cent, compared to the previous weekend, followed by Winnipeg at 10.44 per cent, while Calgary and Montréal experienced a more modest growth in dollars spent, at 3.05 per cent and 2 per cent, respectively.

Drinking establishments were especially popular among Canadians on opening weekend, leading the growth in spending within the restaurant sector. Winnipeg and Vancouver were once again at the top of the leader board, with increases in spending of 34.48 per cent and 22.6 per cent, respectively, compared to the previous week, followed by Montréal and Calgary at 15.06 per cent and 14.16 per cent, respectively.

While Toronto did not have a home game during the opening weekend, it saw a 12.66 per cent increase in drinking establishments, as compared to the previous weekend.

Canadians in Winnipeg, Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver were also hungry for fast food on opening weekend, driving the increase in spending at these establishments by 12.23 per cent and 10.67 per cent, 8.99 per cent and 8.64 per cent, respectively, compared to the previous weekend. Only Montréal experienced a decrease in dollars spent at these establishments, of -5.17 per cent.

"While the NHL hockey lockout hurt many Canadian merchants, the return of the season - albeit shortened - is a welcome boost to their pocketbooks," said Malcolm Fowler, Vice President of Marketing, Moneris Solutions. "We anticipate that merchants will continue to reap the economic benefits of these games until the end of the season."

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 Solutions Corporation ("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

For further information:

Media Contact
Stephanie Nardilli
MAVERICK Public Relations
416-640-5525, ext. 233

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