Trading restrictions tank The Warehouse Group’s third quarter sales

The Warehouse Group has experienced a 17.9 per cent fall in retail sales during the third quarter due to the government mandated trading restrictions. 

Unaudited retail sales for the three months ending April 26 2020 fell to $586.3 million. For the beginning to the quarter sales were up 18.8 per cent on the prior corresponding period, but this quickly changed when the stage 4 lockdown begun. 

Despite this, a gradual increase in online sales eased the pressure, rising 74.8 per cent on the same quarter of 2019.

“We are proud of the way in which the group responded to the rapid growth in online demand and would like to thank our fulfilment operations and support function teams for their tireless efforts to scale this operation and deliver products to customers,” Group chief executive Nick Grayston said.

During the quarter retailer The Warehouse saw sales fall 23 per cent to $297.3 million, while Warehouse Stationery fell 9.8 per cent to $64.5 million. 

Noel Leeming sales landed at $193.5 million, down 10.9 per cent, and Torpedo7 fell 18.3 per cent to $32 million. 

Following this period New Zealand moved to level 3 restrictions, which has broadened the range of products the business can sell online, leading to a jump in online sales. 

And although the government announced the country will be moving to level 2 restrictions soon, the Warehouse Group board remains uncertain on the remainder of the year. 

“Planning is well-advanced on how our brands can operate while ensuring the safety of team members and customers,” the group wrote in a statement to shareholders.  

“While we expect that the opening of stores will see a significant increase in sales, significant uncertainty remains around the impact of operating constraints, customer demand levels and the longer term impacts of COVID-19 on the economy and consumers.”


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