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Mr Price’s online fortunes continue to favour the retailer

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Online sales are continuing to boost Mr Price Group during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The group’s online sales were up 75% for the 20 weeks to 15 August, with the fashion and homeware retailer saying average weekly sales were above the levels reported in the week of Black Friday in 2019.

In a trading update yesterday, it also said cellular (handsets and accessories) recorded growth of 49.7% in the period and it sees further opportunity for growth.

Mr Price said the group’s early investment in online retail allowed it to respond swiftly to the increased e-commerce adoption by consumers.

This is the second time Mr Price has experienced a surge of online sales. The group reported an online sales jump of 90% in the seven weeks from the beginning of April to 20 June.

The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak and the subsequent lockdown radically impacted the buying habits of South Africans, with more consumers doing more of their shopping online, which has since catapulted e-commerce.

Since government’s move to lower COVID-19 alert levels, local e-tailers such as OneDayOnly, Bidorbuy, Equilibrio, Gumtree, AllSale Club and Raru have witnessed a surge in online orders on their Web sites.

Despite the growth in online sales, Mr Price yesterday cautioned that its overall sales growth slowed significantly in the last week of June, “impacted by base effects relating to pay-day timing and school holidays.”

It said: “As anticipated, retail sales during July 2020 continued to slow as pent-up demand subsided, particularly in the apparel segment. Some stock shortages were experienced as a result of certain categories trading ahead of expectations. In the first two weeks of August 2020, inventory service levels increased and the group reported double-digit sales growth.”

Looking ahead, Mr Price warns “consumer health is anticipated to worsen as various government assistance measures come to an end over the coming months.

“Disposable income levels will weaken further as mortgage holidays end, emergency savings are depleted, unemployment grows and low to no wage inflation takes effect.”

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10 Aug
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