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Michael Hill Sees Rise in Same-Store Sales

Oct 14, 2020 8:28 AM   By Rapaport News
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Australian jeweler Michael Hill reported an improvement in same-store sales during the first fiscal quarter amid a rise in online shopping and an increased desire for branded jewelry.

Same-store sales — at branches open more than a year — rose 7% to AUD 116.7 million ($83.7 million) during the three months ending September 27, the company said Tuesday. Group sales slipped 3.6% to AUD 119.3 million ($85.6 million), primarily reflecting the closure of 44 stores due to Covid-19 restrictions, and of an additional 15 underperforming stores the company chose not to reopen. While the figure is down year on year, it is a sharp rise from the 61% drop the company reported in the fiscal fourth quarter.   

The upsurge in sales was a result of Michael Hill’s new strategy of focusing on its own branded pieces. Sales of those products represented 43% of total revenue for the quarter, up from 38% a year ago. Online sales, which grew 129% year on year, also supported revenue and made up for a double-digit decline in foot traffic at physical locations, the jeweler noted.

Total sales fell 5% in Australia and 2.6% in New Zealand during the period, but rose 6% in Canada. Some 28 stores in Australia and 16 in New Zealand were shut during the period, while only one location in Canada remained shuttered. Same-store sales increased in all three markets.

While the company is still dealing with the effects of the coronavirus, it believes it will see strong holiday sales.

“Undoubtedly, the business has been, and will continue to be, impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, with uncontrollable impacts on our store network,” said Michael Hill CEO Daniel Bracken. “The company is well positioned as we enter our all-important Christmas trading period with a healthy balance sheet. A well-managed supply chain, an exciting merchandise offer, and our best-ever Christmas marketing campaign provide confidence that we can maintain strong momentum across the most significant quarter of the year.”

Image:A Michael Hill store in New South Wales, Australia. (Michael Hill/Twitter)
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Tags: Australia, COVID-19, Daniel Bracken, Michael Hill, Rapaport News
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