JOHANNESBURG, July 24 (Reuters) – South African retailers chain Woolworths Holdings flagged a small fall in annual gross sales after its non-food outlets had been shut within the 2nd-half of of its monetary yr attributable to COVID-19 lockdowns.
Even earlier than the world well being disaster, South African brick-and-mortar retailers had been fighting broken-down explicit particular person spending amid slowing wages development, extreme utility prices and extreme unemployment. The pandemic has compounded these considerations.
Woolworths, which furthermore operates in Australia, acknowledged neighborhood gross sales for the 52 weeks ended June 28 fell 0.1% when put subsequent with a yr earlier. In fastened foreign exchange phrases, gross sales declined 1.1%.
The gross sales efficiency for the 2nd half of turned hit furthermore by a fall in purchaser numbers as they tiny journeys to division outlets and shopping for centres, with some opting merely to retailer on-line.
This pushed on-line meals gross sales for the South Africa business up by 87.8%, whereas Woolworths Sort, Magnificence and Residence on-line gross sales grew by 41.3% all via the 2nd half of.
For the fat yr, Woolworths meals gross sales jumped 10.7% whereas mannequin, magnificence and residential gross sales declined 10.7 as prospects prioritised necessities.
“To stimulate alternate and organize inventory ranges all via this era, administration carried out a sequence of centered promotional and clearance initiatives centered at producing and sustaining money,” the agency acknowledged in its shopping for and promoting substitute.
“Whereas this negatively impacted disagreeable income margin, it has resulted in greater inventory ranges and an improved working capital and get gearing trouble at yr-terminate.”
In Australasia, gross sales in upmarket division retailer David Jones fell 6.3% over the yr, whereas gross sales in Nation Facet street Neighborhood declined 14.3%. On-line turnover in each firms jumped 100.7% and 28.1% respectively within the 2nd half of.
South Africa’s retail gross sales plunged by a sage 50.4% in April and by 12% in Might furthermore merely, information confirmed on Wednesday, within the latest proof of the impression of the early, stricter part of the nation’s coronavirus lockdown. (Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Modifying by Vinay Dwivedi and Mark Potter)