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Michael Hill Sees Improved Holiday Results

Jan 15, 2019 12:21 PM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Michael Hill’s sales rose during the holiday period, buoyed by a shift in the company’s marketing strategy, it said Tuesday.

The jeweler’s same-store sales — at branches open for at least a year — increased 1.3% year on year during the November-to-December period, but decreased 2.9% for the second fiscal quarter overall. Although sales fell, performance improved significantly compared to the first quarter, which saw an 11% drop.

The retailer underestimated how much marketing it needed for its strategic shift away from discounting, leading to a sharp decline last quarter, it said. In the three months ending December 31, it made a series of changes to its marketing activities and event promotions, resulting in a stronger performance.

In the second quarter, sales at all stores in Australia, the jeweler’s largest market, fell 4.6% to AUD 106.9 million ($76.9 million). Revenue in New Zealand slipped 4.8% to NZD 41.8 million ($28.5 million), while proceeds from Canadian branches rose 4.5% to CAD 49 million ($37 million).

For the first fiscal half, same-store sales fell 6% to AUD 292.7 million ($210.6 million).

Michael Hill closed three stores during the first half, and opened another six, for a total of 309 stores. The company also shut four Emma & Roe branches, leaving two stores still operating.

The company is implementing a strategy to become a globally relevant leader in the premium-jewelry category, it said. To this end, it hired Daniel Bracken as CEO in September, and last week appointed Andrea Slingsby as chief operating officer.

Image: A Michael Hill store in Melbourne, Australia. (Wpcpey)
Tags: Andrea Slingsby, Australia, Daniel Bracken, Emma & Roe, holiday period, holiday sales, marketing, Michael Hill, New Zealand, Rapaport News, sales
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