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Online Sales Boost Michael Hill in Holiday Quarter

January 16, 2022

RAPAPORT... Michael Hill’s sales rose 10% year on year in the second fiscal quarter, even as a large part of its store network was closed due to a surge in Covid-19 cases.

Group revenue climbed to AUD 217.5 million ($156.8 million) during the 13 weeks ending December 26, as new marketing campaigns and digital initiatives buoyed consumer sentiment, the Australia-based jeweler reported Friday. Same-store sales — at branches open for at least a year — also grew 10%.

The increase comes despite 2,381 lost trading days across the company’s locations in Australia, New Zealand and Canada due to temporary store closures, it said. By the end of the quarter, all stores had reopened.

“The successful planning and execution of Christmas underpinned this outstanding result,” said Michael Hill CEO Daniel Bracken. “From the highly engaging and emotive marketing campaign, to the deployment of new digital initiatives...all came together to deliver Michael Hill’s best [second quarter] in the company’s history. I’m particularly pleased with the result we have delivered considering the significant store closures due to [the] Delta [variant of Covid-19]...during October and early November.”

Same-store sales in Australia, the jeweler’s largest market, rose 5%, while those in New Zealand went up 13%. Growth at shops in Canada was 11%.

In the first fiscal half, group sales went up 2.4% to AUD 325.1 million ($234.3 million), while same-store sales climbed 11% to AUD 306.5 million ($220.9 million).

“As we now enter 2022, the new Omicron variant is bringing new challenges across our Australian and Canadian network, both in terms of impacts on our team members and consumer confidence and behaviors,” Bracken added.

Image: A Michael Hill store in New South Wales, Australia. (Michael Hill/Twitter)

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