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COVID-19, Sales Surge CE Retailers Close CBD Shops Some Doing Better Than Others

Australia’s share market has been a bit stronger than expected today climbing 2.2% in early trading, retailers such as JB Hi Fi, Wesfarmers and Woolworths who own Big W, are up with some CE and appliance retailers still on track to deliver increased revenues over the same four week period last year.

While JB Hi Fi whose share were up 6% earlier today to $33.53 the Company is moving to close several CBD stores that are failing to attract floor traffic.

Wesfarmer who own Bunnings and Officeworks are up 1.27% to $36.60 with both retailers achieving double digit growth for the four-week period.

Another big performer has been The Good Guys who are seeing record demand for appliances and work from home gear as well as TV’s and sound systems.

Harvey Norman are struggling due to their heavy emphasis on furniture and retail outlets such as Domayne and Space.

What is performing is their Seconds World operation according to sources with several brands dumping stock on consignment into this retail channel.

Also taking stock on consignment is the Winnings owned, Appliances Online as distributors look to shift stock from retailers who have closed stores to online operations in the hope of getting a sale.

Big W who last year was struggling is also witnessing strong growth during the Coronavirus epidemic especially across small appliances and TV’s according to sources.

The big question to come after the Easter break is when will Federal and State Governments move to relax regulations relating to the quarantining of retail operations and business in general.

Bank of Queensland chief executive George Frazis has warned against keeping Australian businesses in “hibernation” until a vaccine for the coronavirus is available, saying more firms could be put under pressure under a prolonged shutdown as he advocated further testing of the virus.

BoQ has received 10,000 requests for assistance from its 168,000 small and medium businesses as a result of the crisis so far, it said at its results on Wednesday, with Mr Frazis expecting a “V-shaped” economic recovery from the crisis.

However, he cautioned that some businesses, such as pubs, may find it more difficult to recover from the economic slump and a longer period of restrictions would only make things tougher.
Some analysts are claiming that by mid-July, the number of infections will be negligible, and most of the restrictions on regular life and businesses could start to be lifted, (although not international travel) helping the economy to splutter back to life.

Some analysts claim that by mid-July, the number of infections will be negligible, and most of the restrictions on regular life could start to be lifted, (although not international travel) helping the economy to splutter back to life.

The AFR reported recently that a computer simulation of 24 million people in Sydney University’s Engineering Faculty predicts this is how the coronavirus crisis will play out. Epidemiologists regard it as a best-case scenario.

So far, it has proven to be remarkably accurate. It picked the peak number of daily infections around April 2 and 3, and the peak in active cases on Monday and Tuesday this week.

If Australians continue to keep their distance from each other, the model estimates that total identified cases will top out at 8000 to 10,000.

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