COVID-19 Retail: JB HI-FI’s Appliances & Tech Sales Skyrocket
While many retailers are struggling during the COVID-19 lockdown, the JB HI-FI group, which includes The Good Guys, has reported strong sales in Q3 FY20, driven by robust demand for home appliances and technology. In Australia JB HI-FI recorded sales growth of 11.6%, while The Good Guys was up 13.9%.
JB HI-FI’s share price was up 5.5% this morning following its announcement on the ASX.
“Our customers have turned to us for their technology and home appliance needs as they adapt to these unique circumstances, and our team members have responded and adapted in an amazing manner to make sure we can do it safely and effectively,” said Richard Murray, the JB HI-FI Group CEO.
The vast majority of JB HI-FI and The Good Guys stores have remained open in Australia, with the exception of three airport and seven CBD stores, which have temporarily been closed due to low footfall. Given the group’s strong sales growth, employees at these stores have been able to be redeployed across the store network.
JB HI-FI and The Good Guys have implemented intensive cleaning of all stores, customer store traffic limits, and protective screens, among other measures.
Due to government restrictions, the 14 JB HI-FI stores and online operations were closed on the 26th of March in New Zealand, which has been a drag on the group’s total growth. As a result, JB HI-FI New Zealand’s sales growth contracted by -3.3% in Q3 FY20. JB HI-FI New Zealand was able to resume some operations on the 2nd April and commenced normal trading on the 28th April.
As the Australian government looks to further ease restrictions in May, it is likely that sales at JB HI-FI and The Good Guys will continue to climb, but the company is nevertheless preparing for uncertainty ahead.
The group as received credit approval for another $260 of short-term debt facilities, but called this a “prudent measure”, saying they do no anticipate that they will need to draw upon these funds.
“While the outlook for the remainder of the financial year is uncertain, we continue to be in a strong financial and operational position,” Murray said.