Mr Price online sales surges 300%
Value fashion retailer Mr Price said online sales grew as much as 293.4% for the year ended March 2014.
The group took its home-ware division, Mr Price Home, along with Sheet Street, online in November, while Mr Price Apparel launched its online sales platform in South Africa in July 2012 and internationally in July 2013.
CEO, Stuart Bird, said that the local online offers for Mr Price Sport and Financial Services is planned for the new financial year.
“The online sales platforms are gaining momentum. During the year, the Apparel division opened its site globally and has shipped to over 130 countries,” he said.
Mr Price said that the number of units sold increased by 4.9% to 216.9 million, while trading space continued to expand, with 68 new stores being opened and 18 non performing stores being closed. At year end there were 1,079 corporate owned and 23 franchise stores.
For its financial services division, revenue increased in: insurance premium income by 38.1%, airtime sales by 41.7% and debtors’ interest and fees by 19.2%. The group said its international stores in Ghana and Nigeria continue to perform well, and additional stores are planned in both territories this year.
In March 2014, Nigeria became another multi-channel market for the group, when it became the first international e-commerce retailer to open with an in country operation.
Mr Price said that the performance of its new channels and markets, being online and West Africa, “are very encouraging, providing early support for our intentions of taking our proven business concepts to new territories, rather than looking for acquisitive growth.”
Overall, Mr Price Group reported a diluted headline earnings per share of 715.1 cents, up 22.4%, and dividends per share of 482.0 cents, up 21.1%. Total revenue increased by 15.2% to R15.8 billion while retail sales were up by 14.8% to R15.2 billion. Profit from operating activities improved 22.6%, to R2.5 billion.
“Looking forward, we are preparing for the tough SA retail environment to persist for the remainder of the year,” the chief executive said.
“Strategically the group is well placed to gain market share, however will be wary as competition will intensify and there are elements of the business that retail merchandise which is more discretionary in nature,” Bird said.
“We will devote appropriate time and effort to crystallising the entry strategies of our Mr Price brands (Apparel,Home and Sport) into new markets while being mindful of the challenges in the local market,” he said.
The group plans to invest in excess of R2 billion over the next three years to provide the means to realise its vision, which is to be a top performing international, omni-channel
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