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More Michael Hill store closures possible

More Michael Hill store closures possible

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Jewellery retailer Michael Hill is not ruling out more store closures, as its year-on-year revenue takes a dive due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Michael Hill Jeweller

11 Michael Hill stores shops across Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
Photo: RNZ / Calvin Samuel

The company has already closed 11 stores across Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Chief executive Daniel Bracken said it would continue to monitor stores and due to lower foot traffic, could close more.

Revenue across all its retail operations for the 2020 financial year was down almost 14 percent, however, excluding the closed stores it was up 2.7 percent.

Canadian store revenue took the biggest dip at just over 18 percent.

Fourth quarter overall sales were down 61 percent on the prior period.

Despite online sales hitting record highs – up almost 200 percent on last year – they only make up 5 percent of the overall market, so were not enough to offset losses.

As well as store closures the company has cancelled or deferred all capital expenditure as a way to manage its cashflow.

Michael Hill received $3.6 million from the government’s wage subsidy scheme.

Bracken said he was confident in the company’s future, and the pandemic had accelerated the uptake of multi-channel retailing.

“Michael Hill has emerged from the pause in store trading as a leaner, stronger and more focused business. I’m very proud of the professionalism demonstrated by all our people over the last four months as we navigated the complexity of a global pandemic.

“These decisions have been necessary and appropriate to ensure the health and resilience of the business and to put us in a stronger position for the future. Sadly, this has resulted in a number of non-customer facing team members departing the business.”

He said Full Year 2021 was off to a strong start with all indicators up on the same time last year.

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