Myer's regular business continued to stagnate as its online sales continued to grow, the company's half-year results revealed.
For the period to 25 January 2020, online sales were up just over 25% to AU$168 million, representing 10.5% of the retailer's total sales. Meanwhile, digital sales increased by 19% to nearly AU$180 million, making up just over 11% of total retail sales.
The company said the uplift was partly due to seeing online orders during the Black Friday period increase by more than 100% as it continued to expand its online range -- over 50% of its total range is currently available via myer.com.au.
"Pleasingly, there was continued strong growth in online sales, despite the exit of several low margin brands. During the period the online range was expanded, in particular in concessions, and checkout and Click and Collect were improved which combined to underpin the continued growth," Myer CEO and managing director John King said on Thursday.
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However, the positive increases from its online business were offset by total sales dropping 3.8% to AU$1.61 billion. Net profit after tax was up slightly by 0.4% to AU$41.5 million for the half year, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation was broadly flat at AU$113 million.
King blamed the exits of Apple and the Country Road Group brands, as well as "disappointing" performance in womenswear, for the company's lower overall results.
Looking ahead, King said Myer anticipates a "challenging" macro environment, due to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus on store traffic, which will continue into the second half but remained optimistic about delivering a customer-first plan.
"Numerous opportunities remain to improve productivity and further reduce costs particularly in the areas of store occupancy, factory to customer and fulfilment for both stores and online," he said.
As part of the next phase of its customer-first plan, Myer said it would introduce features to improve the checkout experience, search, navigation, and delivery experience, and also explore opportunities for more IT efficiencies and improvements to its online product offer to meet online sales mix targets.
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