Michael Hill joins the growing list of retailers reopening stores as restrictions on trade and consumer movement begin to ease.
On Thursday the jewelry business unveiled a leaner operating model to accompany the relaunch of deliberately chosen stores, as well as a strong online performance over the past three weeks.
“The surge in our digital sales signals a notable shift in consumer behaviour in the jewelry category,” CEO Daniel Bracken said.
“We have been quick to respond and harness this opportunity, with the implementation of a number of digital initiatives to continue to attract new customers and maintain the momentum.”
During the seven weeks of closed stores the business worked on digital initiatives and strategies to further grow the online side of the business.
For example, customers can now book a video appointment with a Michael Hill sales professional, and tailor the sessions toward engagement, gifting or styling. This service will be tested over the next month in Australia before being expanded into the jewelers other territories.
Additionally, the brand launched Michael Hill Connected, an online video hub that houses product information, expert advice, styling tips and gift guides.
A shoppable Instagram feed, shoppable catalogues, and a WeChat mini commerce store were also launched to further lower the barrier of purchase for prospective customers online.
The brands’ loyalty program ‘Brilliance’ grew by over 100,000 new members, and represents 42 per cent of e-commerce sales.
And while the business is returning to some semblance of normality in the reopening of stores, moving forward Michael Hill will operate with an “absolute” focus on costs during the crisis recovery period.
Measures such as cancelling or deferring all planned store capital expenditure unless necessary, reviewing inventory levels for potential return to vendor, controlling which store and corporate staff are brought back from stand-down, and engaging with landlords on rent and reopening stores are being put in place.
Additionally, the business will continue to review its corporate support centre to “align team structures and reduce costs”.