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David Jones’ sales pulled down 14.6 per cent by end of Victorian lockdown

Image of Bourke Street Mall

Comparable sales in the first 20 weeks of the new financial year have fallen 14.6 per cent at David Jones, largely due to the impact of the tail end of Victoria’s retail shutdown.

Excluding Victorian stores, which traded 76 per cent down, DJs stores saw sales grow 6.7 per cent. Online sales grew 65 per cent compared to the same period of FY20 and contributed 19.6 per cent of total sales.

Country Road Group, which consists of the Country Road, Mimco, Politix, Trenery and Witchery brands, was also impacted. Comparable sales fell 7.7 per cent, while excluding Victoria saw sales growth of 6.5 per cent.

David Jones’ parent company, Woolworths Holdings, said inventory was well managed during the period and was assisted by the growth in online across all businesses. The Covid-19 pandemic, however, continues to have an impact on the group’s supply chains, locally and globally.

Woolworths Holdings’ chief executive Roy Bagattini recently chided David Jones’ slow transition and the negative trading position of its large-format David Jones Food business, launching a review into the Food business to get it back to a break-even position by the 2022 financial year.

However with Victoria’s lockdown over it’s possible trading will bounce back for David Jones in the short term, with shoppers keen to get back to stores in time for the holidays in the fashion capital of Australia.

The National Retail Association recently predicted the holiday period will bring in $52.4 billion this year, with a record $5 billion to be spent online.

“Many businesses desperately need a Christmas sales splurge to keep themselves afloat as we head into 2021,” NRA chief executive Dominique Lamb said.

“With people unable to travel overseas, the continuation of government assistance measures and a thirst from shoppers to get out of the house following lockdown periods, we’re confident that consumer spending will be solid.”

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