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Woolworths reports online sales surge

Big focus on e-commerce pays off for the upmarket retailer.
Image: Moneyweb

Woolworths delivered a more than 58% improvement in headline earnings per share in the 26 weeks ended 27 December 2020, with the retail group benefiting, in part, from a big focus on e-commerce.

The improvement in profitability — and group sales that rose 5.3% compared to the year-ago period — came despite footfall in its stores being significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Actions to stimulate trade, strengthen online capabilities and protect margins through cost containment, tight inventory management and the assistance of government support measures, resulted in a 24.6% adjusted profit before tax growth for the half,” the Johannesburg-listed group said.

Online sales at Woolworths Food leapt by 158.5% year on year, contributing 2.2% to total sales. That compares to overall sales growth of 10.9% and 9.4% in comparable stores, with net space growth of 0.4%.

Woolworths Fashion, Beauty and Home (FBH) saw overall sales decline by 11.2% year on year. However, online sales jumped by 118.8%, contributing 4% to South African sales.

Woolworths’ Australian retailer David Jones reported sales down 8.8% (and by 10.5% in comparable stores). However, online sales came to the rescue, rising 55.5% and contributing 17.7% to total sales in the half-year.

Country Road, a mid-market clothing retailer, grew online sales by 52.5%, contributing a staggering 31.6% to total sales in the period. –

© 2021 NewsCentral Media

Duncan McLeod is editor of TechCentral.

This article was first published on TechCentral here.

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Australia and New Zealand are slowing South African companies down!

Sounds like David Jones did OK and Country Road did even better.

But I agree with you overall. Strong scrutiny should be applied when when SA companies talk about expanding to attractive emigration destinations, to ensure they are acting in the best interests of their shareholders.

They are certainly worth their wool.

End of comments.

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