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Retail update

by Suzie McInerney

retail

Australian retail sales results – it’s not a recession

  • The Australian Bureau of Statistics released the latest Retail Sales turnover data yesterday showing the Australian Retail market is in decline of 0.1% for the month of March (seasonally adjusted). The Financial Review has already labelled this as verging on recession. But is it?
  • A factor impacting this month’s trend to consider; Tropical Cyclone Debbie hit Queensland in March impacting on their performance, showing the biggest trend decline of -0.4% amongst the states. If we exclude QLD from the results, the rest of Australia grew by 0.1%.
  • Weather impacts aside, what the ABS data doesn’t show us is what’s happening with international online retail sales.

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Myer sales fall in rough quarter

  • Myer has seen its third quarter sales drop 3.3 per cent to $653 million, while comparable store sales fell two per cent in the three months to April 29.
  • The department store retailer partly blamed severe wet weather linked to Cyclone Debbie for the fall in sales.
  • Total year to date (YTD) sales are down 1.3 per cent to $2,438 million and down 0.3 per cent on a comparable store basis.

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JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman to get swamped in the Amazon

  • Amazon could own eight per cent of Australia’s consumer electronics market within just five years, pushing local players including JB Hi-Fi to close stores.
  • Investment bank Citigroup says Amazon, which recently confirmed it will roll out its full online marketplace in Australia, is on average about 15 per cent cheaper than Australia’s consumer electronic retailers.
  • Citi says JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman will likely cut their average sale prices by about 10 per cent when Amazon enters the local market in 2018/19, and has therefore cut its long-range earnings forecasts for the companies.

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Convenience industry outperforms grocery for fifth year straight

  • The Australian convenience industry is now valued at $8.3 billion (excluding petrol sales) according to the AACS State of the Industry Report 2016 and an additional $353 million in sales were generated over the course of the year.
  • Value growth in the convenience channel (4.5 per cent) outpaced that of pharmacy (4.4 per cent), liquor (3.3 per cent) and grocery (1.2 per cent) in 2016, underlining the robustness of the convenience industry in Australia.
  • Australasian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS) CEO Jeff Rogut says the strong result is a testament to the focus on innovation from leading convenience operators.

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Thirsty Camel gives first Oz ‘web push’

  • Liquor retailer, Thirsty Camel, and global tech firm, OtherLevels have released the results from the first ‘web notification’ program to be executed in the Australia Retail Liquor sector.
  • Thirsty Camel has partnered with OtherLevels to implement a new cutting edge digital messaging format, ‘web notifications’, or ‘web push’, that enables sites to deliver offers and content directly to a customer’s desktop browser, or Android mobile browser, without the need to download an app.
  • Early results include a 21 per cent increase in Hump Club memberships, as well as a 4x higher clickthrough rate compared with industry standard for other paid digital media channels.

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For more industry insights, get in touch with Suzie McInerney on 03 8613 3516.