Woolworths Tally ho, chaps
With a carefree toss of its boyish locks, Woolies has issued a rather cheerful little trading update for the year to the end of June, with Group sales up 9.4%, like store sales up 6.3%, clothing sales up 11.5%, food 10.7% and 8.4% in comparable stores, and trading space up a pleasing 7.6%. The only weevil in the biscuit, wouldn’t you know it, is Australia, where sales at Country Road fell 2%, or 10.9% on a comparable store basis. A possible reason for this, suggests one gimlet-eyed analyst, is a leadership vacuum left by the departure of Ian Moir for these greener, more pleasant shores. In South Africa, reckons the same young blade, the pleasing result stems from the resurgence of the posher punter and her increasing freedom from debt now that she’s downgraded to an A-Class.
Comment: The recent uptick in food inflation, always a welcome guest for retailers, can’t hurt either.