Wesfarmers says a strong performance by its Bunnings and Officeworks stores during virus-enforced lockdowns has been offset by slowing momentum at Kmart and the already underperforming Target business.
The conglomerate on Tuesday said its home hardware giant Bunnings and electronics, stationery and furniture retailer Officeworks experienced significant demand growth as customers and their families spent more time working, learning and relaxing at home during coronavirus lockdowns.
The picture has been bleaker at department store chains Kmart and Target. At both stores, sales growth in the third quarter was broadly in line with the the first half of the financial year, supported by strong growth in online sales, but has deteriorated in recent weeks.
Kmart remains profitable but earnings at Target have declined significantly as customer footfall drops in shopping centres and discretionary categories weaken, particularly apparel.
Wesfarmers said the trend is expected to persist while social distancing and isolation measures remain in place, and while many tenants and activities within major shopping centres are not operating. Its strategic review of Target will be delivered by June 30.
In February, Kmart swung to a 5.5 per cent first-half comparable sales growth from a 0.6 per cent decline a year ago, with revenue at the discount department store up $241 million or 7.6 per cent to $4.99 billion.
Target’s comparable sales went the other way though, falling 2.3 per cent compared with 0.5 per cent growth a year ago.