Lovisa Eyes Retail Recovery As Sales Slump Slows

Shares in jewellery retailer Lovisa eased a touch yesterday even though the company revealed an improvement in first-quarter sales performance.

The shares fell 0.3% to $8.67 at the close as the company revealed the rate of fall in sales slowed sharply in the September quarter compared with the 16 weeks to the end of June.

Lovisa said comparable sales for the company’s 449 stores in Australia, New Zealand, and across Europe fell 10.2% in the September quarter, a much better performance than the 32.5% slump in the final quarter of 2019-20.

Lovisa said since September 30 it has been able to reopen most of its stores in recent weeks, bar 30 in Melbourne which will remain shut until November 1.

The company said it had seen a stronger performance from those markets that have been re-opened longest and with the least restrictions in place with Australia and New Zealand its best-performing regions.

However, ahead of the company’s AGM yesterday, CEO Shane Fallscheer warned investors the dicey situation in Europe could spell more pain for the retailer.

“We have seen a large increase in COVID cases across a number of our markets over the past few weeks, in particular in Europe, and continue to monitor these situations, however at the current time all of our European stores remain open,” he said.

Due to the virus, online sales have risen massively, up 400% for the first quarter.

Like many other retailers Lovisa is now moving to make its digital channel a more significant part of its business.

While the rise in online sales is from a small base, Lovisa wants more.

It now has digital storefronts in place servicing all eight of its major markets around the world. That’s on top of opening 14 new outlets since the end of June.

About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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