Innovation

The complete 2013 online sales report card: How the big players fared

Patrick Stafford /

With reporting season winding to a close, it’s a good opportunity to sit back and take stock of what this year has been like for the nation’s listed companies.

For retailers, it’s been tougher than ever, but it’s also been a great period of opportunity. With online sales growing faster than ever, savvy businesses are riding the web wave – and many are making huge leaps and bounds.

While some companies have already announced their results, some others have come out of the woodwork. Here’s the complete online retail scorecard for 2013 – a brief of how major businesses are adapting to the online environment.

David Jones

The department store giant recently announced its fourth quarter results, confirming sales were down 1.3% in the quarter, and down by 2.9% on a like-for-like basis.

While the company didn’t reveal a full breakdown of online sales, it did say the business had completed the rollout of the next phase in its omni-channel strategy, which includes more click and collect options and better inventory functionality.

There have also been improvements to website functionality as well.

However, chief executive Paul Zahra has said online sales only make up 1% of total revenue. While small, this represents revenue of about $18 million.

Myer

Myer announced its sales yesterday, showing a decline in profit of 8.7% to $127.2 million for the full year.

While the company didn’t reveal a breakdown of online sales figures, it reported double growth in online sales, page views and average monthly visits compared to the previous financial year.

It expects online sales to double again in the year ahead, and online operations to break even.

Chief executive Bernie Brookes said the company is set to turn an online profit in 2015, when sales hit around $50 million.

Woolworths

Woolworths has been making big strides with online sales. In the past year, the company said it achieved 42% growth in online sales, and is on track to deliver $1 billion in online revenue during the 2013-14 financial year.

Specialty Fashion Group

The fashion industry has been a big winner with online sales. Specialty Fashion not only announced a profit of $13 million this year, but online sales grew 50% to $21.9 million – representing a very respectable 3.8% of total sales.

Country Road

Although Country Road has performed well this year, with comparable sales up 11% for the past year, the company gave no indication as to how it’s performed with online sales.

JB Hi-Fi

JB Hi-Fi is one of the few companies which posts specific figures for online sales. And just like last year, they’ve done extremely well.

Last year, online sales grew 77% to $50.8 million, representing about 1.62% of revenue.

This year, that number has increased again. Online sales are up 29.8% over the year to $65.9 million, or 2% of sales.

It’s still not a huge proportion of sales, but $65 million is nothing to sneeze at. JB Hi-Fi is definitely proving how to do online retail right.

Super Retail Group

Super Retail Group is one of the few companies now which doesn’t actually post any online results. Last year it didn’t give a hint as to how much it was making on the internet, and this year there’s no change.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s doing nothing – SRG is pumping $16 million into developing “multichannel capability development”. The online sales will come soon enough.

The Reject Shop

Not only does The Reject Shop not provide a breakdown for online sales, it doesn’t offer online commerce at all.

And not only that, but last year chief executive Chris Bryce said the business case didn’t exist yet for the company to go digital.

Wesfarmers

So far, Wesfarmers hasn’t released specific results for its online businesses.

However, it did give some hints. The company said online sales for office supplies were continuing to grow in double digits. (The Officeworks site is rumoured to bring in upwards of $100 million in revenue.)

Meanwhile, the company also said over the next year it will continue to align its online and in-store offerings.

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Patrick Stafford

Patrick Stafford is a freelance journalist and a former deputy editor of SmartCompany.

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