Michael Hill’s digital sales buoy jeweller through first quarter

Michael Hill has seen online sales spike 58 per cent in its first quarter of FY22 compared to the same time last year, while same-store sales jumped 15.5 per cent.

The boost in digital sales is likely tied to the fact the business lost almost 7,400 trading days across its store network during the quarter – meaning more customers needed to shop online – though this did lead Michael Hill’s total sales to be 10 per cent down.

“These results reaffirm our transformational agenda is enhancing all aspects of our business, broadening our omni-channel offering, elevating our brand and delivering growth,” said Michael Hill chief executive Daniel Bracken.

“Our strategic initiatives – driving elevated margins, an intense focus on costs, and strong digital and physical sales, have all combined to lessen the negative impact on earnings from sustained store closures across Australia and New Zealand.”

Total sales in Australia fell 24.9 per cent on account of almost half of its store count being closed for some period of the quarter, though same-store sales rose 9.4 per cent.

Likewise, total sales in New Zealand fell 13.2 per cent, but same-store sales rose 17.8 per cent. At the end of the quarter, 16 of Michael Hill’s 49 stores in New Zealand were closed.

Shirking the trend, the business’ Canadian stores saw growth in both same-store sales (17.7 per cent) and total store sales (18.8 per cent), with all stores opened by the end of the quarter.

“Our Canadian business has been flying [since reopening], delivering impressive sales and margin growth every week,” Bracken said.

“This demonstrates that as territories reopen, the business is ready to meet the strong customer demand, with the right inventory, engaged team members and appropriate safety protocols in place.”

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