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David Jones Posts Sales Recovery

Department store chain David Jones has posted an improved trading performance in the period leading up to Christmas, with sales bolstered by Black Friday sales, government stimulus and the ease of the pandemic lockdown.

The store’s parent company, South Africa’s Woolworths Holdings, issued a trading update which revealed a strong Christmas sector after a lacklustre start to the year.

The first 26 weeks of the financial year saw sales fall 10.5 per cent for David Jones.

Woolworths Holdings said the 12-week Victorian lockdown negative impacted sales for the half in Australia, while a stellar Christmas buying period, the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and extended JobKeeper uplifted sales for the period.

Online sales for David Jones jumped by 55.5 per cent for the period, contributing 17.7 per cent to overall sales.

David Jones’ strong Christmas period will give hope to investors of rival department chain Myer, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

“I would expect Myer to be outperforming DJs because they have less of a focus in the CBD areas and have a larger online business,” Oscar Oberg, a fund manager at Myer shareholder Wilson Asset Management, told the publication.

“Myer’s stores across the country, particularly regional ones, would be doing quite well.”

Analysts expect Myer sales for the 2021 financial year will fall by 5 per cent, but profit after tax will drag the company back into the black at $5 million.

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