Almost 15% of Woolworths sales now online

JSE-listed Woolworths Holdings said almost 15% of its turnover came from online channels in its most recent reporting period.

Even though turnover and concession sales for the 20 weeks ended 14 November 2021 fell by 4.5% compared to the same period a year ago, group-wide online sales jumped by 26.4%, contributing 14.7% to total turnover and concession sales for the period.

Woolworths’ operations are located in South Africa and in Australia, where it owns the David Jones and Country Road retail chains. It’s evident from the numbers that Australian consumers are much more attuned to shopping online than their South African peers, though South African online sales are growing rapidly.

Trade during the period was “severely impacted” by Covid-19 lockdowns in Australia, where many of its stores were closed, and in South Africa by violent unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng in July.

In the Woolworths Food business in South Africa, turnover and concession sales grew by 3.2%. But online sales increased by 52.6%, contributing (a still relatively small) 3% of South African sales.

The Fashion Beauty and Home business grew sales by 7.4%, while online sales grew by 24.7%, contributing 4.5% of South African sales.

In Australia, where government-enforced lockdowns had a big negative impact on physical store sales – turnover and concession sales declined by 17.1% — online sales increased by 53.7% and contributed 36.3% to total sales.

Country Road Group sales declined by 5.9% overall, while online sales increased by 11% and contributed 40.9% to total sales.

In a trading statement on Wednesday, Woolworths said headline earnings per share for the 26 weeks ending 26 December 2021 are expected to be more than 20% lower than the same period a year ago.  – © 2021 NewsCentral Media