Michael Hill sales down over FY19

Jewellery retailer Michael Hill revealed a 3.5 per cent fall in total same-store sales to $548.3 million across all markets for FY19.

In New Zealand, the retailer saw a decrease in same-store sales of 4.7 per cent to $115.2 million, down from $120.9 million, with two stores closing and two opening over the period.

In Australia, same-store sales fell 5.9 per cent to $305.6 million, down from $324.7 million the prior year, with eight stores closing over the year.

“Our e-commerce business has continued to grow at a significant rate, with annual sales now more than double that of our largest physical store,” said Daniel Bracken, chief executive of Michael Hill International.

“Over the course of FY20, we will continue to invest in this important future growth channel for the group. 

“As our strategic initiatives and customer-led retail operating model continue to unfold, and with a full-strength leadership team now in place, I am excited by the year ahead, and our ability to grow market share.”

Michael Hill underpays Australian workers

The jewellery retailer has revealed it will spend up to $26 million repaying its workers, after a review into the business’s employment contracts and rostering practices found a “historic misapplication” of the Award across six years.

Michael Hill confirmed to Inside Retail that the underpayment issue only affects Australian employees. 

The initial review was completed with the assistance of independent experts PriceWaterhouseCoopers, though a more detailed review will be undertaken “with urgency” due to the complexity of the issue. Michael Hill expects the review to take several months to complete. 

“I’m committed to engaging with our team members transparently and with absolute integrity and fairness,” said Bracken.

“When we identified there was an issue, I mobilised a team, supported by independent external experts, to determine the scale of the problem, identify the individuals affected and to ensure full compliance with the Award going forward.

“We will move as quickly as possible to rectify any under-payments with those team members affected.”

Employee underpayment has been a common topic in the Australian retail industry over the last year, with Super Retail GroupCaltex, and Lush, among others, owning up to the mistake. 


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