Supermarket giant Woolworth’s has posted a significant 12% increase in first quarter sales off the back of the pandemic, and notably, its popular Disney Ooshies promotions.
Demand for household items and in particular cooking supplies drove the increase in the first quarter, and Woolworths are predicting costs to remain up for the rest of the financial year.
Total group sales came in at $17.85 billion ($12.79 billion) for the 14 weeks to Oct. 4, up from A$15.9 billion in 2019.
In particular, sales were up thanks to Victoria’s extended lockdown, which saw a massive surge in the need for food and cleaning products.
Woolies’ sales dominated Coles, which posted 9.7 per cent growth for the quarter to $8.46 billion,
The group has been paying back many of its employees after it was revealed many staffers were being underpaid, which totaled $164 million.
And, it’s not just lockdown that spurred a sales increase. Woolworth’s popular promotions, such as the Disney Ooshies toy promotion, helped drive growth too.
A spokesperson for investment banking company Morgan Stanely told the SMH: “Channel checks indicated that Woolworths out-traded Coles through this period, partially reflecting a successful Disney collectables program,”
Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci told the SMH it was a “pleasing” result to the start of the 2021 financial year.
“COVID costs remain material as we continue to prioritise the safety of our customers and team but have moderated as we become more efficient at operating COVIDSafe.”
He added: “For the rest of the calendar year, we expect elevated sales and costs to continue as customers spend more time at home, continue to embrace e-commerce and we ensure our stores and distribution centres remain COVID safe.”
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