Lockdowns and store closures have severely affected David Jones’ first-half performance, with sales turnover and concessions declining by 9.2 per cent.
Online sales rose 44.2 per cent however, and contributed 28.1 per cent of total sales during this period, and comparable store sales fell 9 per cent – only to pick up in the last six weeks of the period, including Boxing day sales, growing 3.2 per cent.
Store closures and space reductions contributed to a fall in expenses by 1.8 per cent, and the department store’s adjusted operating profit dipped down to 44.6 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Sister brand Country Road Group reported that sales declined by 3.1 per cent for the half with comparable-store sales dropping by 3.2 per cent only to grow 1.7 per cent in the last six weeks of the period.
Online sales contributed 33.8 per cent of total sales improving by 3.6 per cent during the half.
With restrictions easing post-Omicron outbreaks in the country, the brands are optimistic that foot traffic in stores will increase as consumer confidence recovers. Though it is unlikely that trading will go back to pre-Covid levels, the prospect of an increase in interest rates will have some impact.