11 Nov 2022

Warehouse Group reports record first quarter sales

12:30 pm on 11 November 2022
Warehouse on Blenheim road in Christchurch

Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon

The Warehouse Group is reporting record first quarter sales, with more customers shopping for basic rather than luxury items.

The retail group's sales across its brands, which included Red Sheds, Stationery, Noel Leeming, Torpedo7 and TheMarket.com rose 21 percent to $764.7 million in the 13 weeks to 30 October, on the year earlier.

The Warehouse retail stores led the gain with a 39 percent increase to $414.6m, with a 76 percent increase in customers shopping for grocery and a 32 percent increase in homewares.

"We're seeing a shift in demand from premium categories, such as technology and home office equipment that experienced a lift in recent years, to growth in our great value essentials like grocery and homeware," group chief executive Nick Grayston said.

"We continue to see growing numbers of customers choosing to shop with us for food and pantry items as well as homeware, apparel and toys."

Foot traffic was up 61 percent across all brands as customers returned to store, however, group online sales were down 57 percent.

"Globally and here in New Zealand we are seeing a channel shift of customers back towards stores and we are well placed as an integrated retailer with our 249 stores across New Zealand and strong online platforms to support this," Grayston said.

The group's gross profit margin was 32.3 percent in the first quarter compared with a slightly higher 32.9 percent gross profit margin in the first quarter of last year.

"The global economic environment continues to be volatile and unpredictable and local conditions are seeing New Zealanders having to make challenging trade-offs as they manage their household budgets," he said.

"Looking ahead, we are well positioned as we move toward the Christmas and summer peak trading period with good levels of stock across all our brands, despite ongoing supply chain constraints."

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