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David Jones Sales Wobble But CE & Appliances Grow

Big department store David Jones joins a long list of retailers who saw sales wobble over the peak holiday buying period while suppliers are telling ChannelNews that Myer did “okay” despite speculation that they were set to struggle prior to the holiday period.

We have also been told that despite sales growth that slowed to just 0.9 per cent in the 26 weeks ending December 23 after rising 2.4 per cent in the 20 weeks ended November 11 David Jones consumer electronics and appliance sales continue to grow with suppliers reporting “good growth” despite fashion sales falling.

This time last year David Jones was reporting a 3.3 per cent fall in same-store sales.

At CES two overseas retailers approached me claiming that they had heard that David Jones, South African owners Woolworths had looked at the concept of selling the David Jones operation.

Overall David Jones’ total sales growth slowed to 1 per cent compared with growth of 2.9 per cent in the first 20 weeks of the new year.

The Financial Review claims that the latest figures may auger poorly for Myer, which underperformed David Jones in the first quarter, posting a 4.3 per cent fall in same-store sales.

Analysts believe Myer’s same-store sales for the quarter ending January are likely to fall 2 or 3 per cent despite suppliers saying sales were “good”.

According to ShopperTrak, which measures foot-fall in shopping centres, customer traffic fell 15 per cent in the week ending December 23 and 23 per cent in the week ending December 30, dragging traffic for December down 12.2 per cent, well below the 12-month average decline of 2.2 per cent.

Retailers have confirmed to ChannelNews that ShopperTrak figures do reflect a sharp drop in sales in their stores over the holiday period with consumers investing in Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases in late November pulling forward retail sales from December into November.

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