Online ‘no longer a side project’: Camping, fitness boost Super Retail
Super Retail boss Anthony Heraghty says the group’s brands have been well placed to capitalise on customer demand for camping and fitness after months of COVID lockdowns, with the company set to unveil a bumper first-half profit.
The $2.7 billion operator of stores including Super Cheap Auto, Rebel and BCF said in a trading update on Monday online sales had increased 87 per cent to $237 million in the six months to Boxing Day. Net profit after tax for the first half of 2021 was projected to be between $170 and $174 million, an increase of between 196 and 201 per cent on the same time last year.
Mr Heraghty said the record half-year performance came down was due to “record online sales over the November cyber weekend and strong Christmas trading”. Last year Super Retail told investors it would pump more money into its digital sales channels to capitalise on the move to online retail sales.
The Super Retail chief executive said these investments had paid off and the company was ready to take on an online-focused retail landscape. “Online is no longer a side project — it is the main game.”
Mr Heraghty said the sales trends were an “encouraging sign” given concerns about consumer spending, but acknowledged the group’s brands have been well-matched to the interests of Australians facing COVID lockdown.
While sales of outdoor goods had been affected in early 2020 due to the bushfires, camping equipment had since bounced back strongly, he said. “Last year Australia skipped camping, this year they came back with thunder. And you don’t just buy a tent, there are a number of things you have to buy to make it all work.
“Then with Rebel, after lockdown, as pe