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Super Retail suffers lockdown sales slump

Super Retail Group has faltered at the starting line of FY22 following a strong year, with sales across all of its brands falling throughout the first 16 weeks of trade.

The continued impact of lockdowns seems to be to blame, with the group’s stable of brands (Supercheap Auto, Rebel, BCF, and Macpac) focusing on outdoor activities made unavailable by the movement restrictions enforced throughout many parts of the country over the last few months.

Group sales fell 12 per cent compared to the same period of FY21, with each individual brand experiencing a sales slump, though online sales increased 96 per cent throughout the same period.

Compared to FY20, however, sales were mostly up on pre-pandemic levels.

Click and collect also grew 163 per cent, and with the loosening of restrictions in several states in the last few weeks, the business is “well positioned” to recover throughout the upcoming cyber weekend and Christmas periods.

“We’ve maintained steady trading momentum in non-Covid impacted regions and we are confident that we will see a rebound in sales as lockdowns end and stores re-open,” chief executive Anthony Heraghty said.

“As Covid restrictions ease, we are looking forward to helping our customers celebrate by providing them with all of the products they need to resume travelling, playing sport and enjoying the great outdoors.”

Gross margins improvements that were made in FY21 have so far been maintained, but Heraghty warns that freight and logistics costs associated with higher levels of inventory may impact margin looking forward as “the outlook for supply chain remains challenging.”

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