DURBAN – As Woolworths tries to recover from the impairments of A$712.5 million (R7.02 billion) it suffered last year in its Australian subsidiary David Jones, the retailer continued to experience declining sales in the 26 weeks to end December trading period in South Africa.
In South Africa, Woolworths Fashion, Beauty and Home (FBH) sales slid by 2 percent, while comparable stores were 2.4 percent lower during the period, impacted by a significantly smaller winter clearance sale in the first quarter. However, the group said sales in the second quarter of the year had shown positive growth.
“Price movement was 1.7 percent for FBH and 0.8 percent for Fashion,” the group said in a trading update yesterday. It added that net retail space grew by 0.6 percent.
David Jones managed to report a marginal sales growth, up by 1 percent, but the sales performance weakened in line with the rest of the retail market in the final weeks leading up to Christmas.
“Comparable store sales grew by 0.9 percent, with growth from new stores largely offset by sales disruption from the Elizabeth Street store refurbishment,” the group said.