50 BCF stores directly affected by Australian bush fires
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The Super Retail Group has reported that its outdoor brand BCF – Boating Camping Fishing – was one of its businesses worst affected by the bush fires and drought which have ravaged parts of Australia.
In its update on trading for the first half of 2019/20, it revealed that more than 50 BCF stores have been directly impacted. Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Anthony Heragthy said BCF stores in affected areas were forced to temporarily close.
“The bush fires and associated smoke haze coincided with BCF’s peak holiday trading period and led to a downturn in customer demand for outdoor products. BCF stores not affected delivered 3% sales growth in the first half.”
Overall, the group reported total sales growth of 2.9% and like-for-like store sales growth of 1.7% despite the impact of the bush fires and drought. Heraghty added: “After a strong start to our peak trade season, the bush fires and drought impacted December trading. While we expect the impact to be a one-off, it is difficult to estimate how long it will take sales to recover especially in the outdoor category of our business.
“While the first half earnings were challenged by exceptional circumstances, there are a number of positives in the expected result that bodes well for the second half, including the online sales growth of 22% in the first half, confirming the successful execution of the group’s omni-retailing strategy.”
As reported previously, Super Retail Group has donated $250,000 to the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Programme. “I extend our deepest sympathies to everyone affected by the bush fires. With businesses in the fire-ravaged regions, we want to help our customers, team members and their communities,” added Heraghty.