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Accent Group’s sales slipped by $86m before stores reopened

Accent Group acquired the online athleisure retailer Stylerunner in 2019. (Source: Supplied.)

Significantly impacted trading conditions for the 18 weeks to October 31 have seen Accent Group miss its expectations by $86 million.

The footwear business’ gross margin fell by 700 basis points through the period, as it continued “targeted promotional activity” to ensure its inventory levels remained manageable, and focused on finding savings in “controllable” areas of its business: namely, marketing, wages, travel and administration.

The result was significantly affected by government mandated store closures across Australia and New Zealand, Accent Group chief executive Daniel Agostinelli said, with more than 400 of the business’ stores shuttered through the period.

“Since the re-opening of New South Wales and Victoria, the company has experienced a strong spike in sales and improved gross margins ahead of key Cyber, Christmas and Back-to-School trading periods,” Agostinelli said.

“We’re pleased with trade over the last several weeks and are optimistic about the coming months, assuming uninterrupted trade over this period.”

Since reopening, Accent Group’s like-for-like store sales have jumped 8.4 per cent in New South Wales, and 5.9 per cent in Victoria.

And, given the uncertainty the retail industry continues to face moving forward, Agostinelli said Accent Group won’t provide guidance moving forward.

“I’m pleased to say we’ve exited this period ‘Match Fit’, with out stores, team and inventory in great shape to take advantage of the key [holiday] trading periods,” Agostinelli said.

“Most pleasingly is the progress in new stores, with more than 120 new stores to open this year.”

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