Home and sport retailer Briscoe Group said they will be opening new stores and redeveloping old ones this October, and continuing on the projects that were started during the first half of the financial year.
Managing director Rod Duke said they will open new Briscoes Homeware and Rebel Sport stores, including fulfillment centres, in Mt Roskill, Auckland next month and will refurbish the Briscoes Homeware store in Tauranga.
The existing Briscoes Homeware store at Riccarton in Christchurch will be relocated to a new site on Riccarton Road which will also include a fulfillment facility.
This month, the group will relocate the existing Briscoes Homeware store in Taylors Road, Auckland to a retail space on the ground floor of the new Support Office building to allow for a complete rebuilding on the existing site.
“Our projects program continues at pace into the second half of the year with the opening of a new Rebel Sport store in Newmarket, Auckland as part of the exciting new Westfield retail redevelopment,” Duke said.
“This store reflects a contemporary fit-out and design, parts of which we will look to replicate in future new and refurbished Rebel Sport stores.”
Duke said their projects may be going well as expected but the economic outlook of the second half remains uncertain with subdued consumer and business confidence, increased wage and cost pressures and a lower New Zealand dollar.
“All of which will make it difficult for retailers to maintain margins,” he said.
Duke said, however, they are confident that they have the right programs in place to ensure that they continue to be first choice for homeware and sporting goods in New Zealand across their store network and online.
The group announced its unaudited net profit after tax (NPAT) for the first half of the financial year ending July 28, before the impact of NZ IFRS 16, was $29.41 million, slightly higher than last year’s $29.34 million.
The earnings were generated on sales revenue of $302.98 million compared to the $293.20 million generated for the same period last year. On a same-store basis the group’s sales for the half year were 2.74 per cent ahead of the same period last year.
“Overall we are pleased with the Group’s performance for this first six months,” Duke said. “To achieve a profit (before the impact of NZIFRS 16) in line with last year despite the ongoing competitiveness of the retail environment, the impact on winter-dependent categories with the late start to the colder months, and continued cost pressures, is a very satisfactory start to this financial year.”
Gross margin dollars has increased 2.40 per cent for the period with gross margin percentage decreasing from 40.93 per cent to 40.56 per cent.
“The decrease in gross margin percentage reflects the continued intensity of competition across the retailing environment,” Duke said.
According to the retailer, trading patterns for seasonal product, particularly in homewares, were impacted by the very late start to winter. As a result, the successful winter clearance programme which closed out trading for the first half, boosted sales but did come at the expense of gross profit percentage.
In the period under review, homeware sales increased 2.57 per cent from $186.70 million to $191.50 million and sporting goods sales increased 4.68 per cent from $106.50 million to $111.48 million.
On a same store basis, homeware sales increased by 2.72 per cent, while sporting goods sales increased by 2.76 per cent.
Inventory levels as of July 28 were $88.83 million, up from $85.01 million at the same time last year, predominantly reflecting increased stock holdings to satisfy the new Rebel Sport store operating at Papanui in Christchurch, as well as the new Rebel Sport store in Newmarket, Auckland which opened at the end of August.