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Online now accounts for a quarter of Premier Retail’s sales

A booming online trade helped Australian fashion retailer Premier Retail achieve modest sales growth during the half-year to January 29, despite losing 42,000 trading days across its store network due to Covid restrictions. 

The parent of retail chains Portmans, Dotti, Just Jeans, Smiggle, Peter Alexander, Jay Jays and Jacqui-E, said online sales grew by 27 per cent and accounted for a quarter of total sales during the six months.

Despite widespread store closures, Premier Retail estimates sales were up by 0.5 per cent during the first half of the financial year. Richard Murray, CEO of Premier Retail expressed that this half was particularly ‘challenging’ as both businesses and customers tried to navigate their way around prolonged government-mandated lockdowns.

Due to the growing momentum in preference for online shopping, the company was focused on achieving the profitability of each individual store.

“The group has weathered the numerous logistical challenges during the half through meticulous planning and by taking full advantage of Premier’s own Australian Distribution Centre.

“Reviews of the group’s distribution centre capabilities in both Australia and New Zealand continue as part of a long-term strategy to meet ongoing demand as customers change their shopping behaviour in the wake of Covid,” he said.

In a trading update, the company said its earnings before income and taxes are expected to range between $209.5-$211.5 million.

The company will release audited results by late March.

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