In its third trading update so far this year, Michael Hill Jewellers has provided an early idea of the damage the coronavirus is having on Australian retailing in 2020, telling investors its comparable sales for the third quarter dropped by a massive 10.4%.
Jewelry chain, Michael Hill has become the first major Australian retailer to close its doors in light of the coronavirus pandemic, meaning the jobs of thousands of workers are at risk. Meanwhile, Woolworths has postponed its drinks demerger, Retail Food Group has dropped its guidance as has Shaver Shop.
First-quarter trading has revealed the company's strategies are gaining momentum, with Citi noting the business has stabilised. The broker expects Michael Hill will focus on improving Canadian sales productivity and expanded its product range.
Michael Hill International has delivered a weaker trading update versus Credit Suisse expectations. Australia, among the company's key markets, was the only one to report a sequential improvement in same-store sales trends for the nine months to March.
Instead of reducing Emma & Roe to 6 stores the company will now abandon the brand and focus on its core. Macquarie has identified a value gap between the current share price and its valuation of the core business.