Mr Price festive season boom

Mr Price reported an almost 10% growth in retail sales for the third quarter of the 2023/24 financial year, with over 15% sales growth in December.

In a trading update released this morning, Mr Price informed shareholders that, during the third quarter from 1 October 2023 to 30 December 2023, the company recorded growth in retail sales of 9.9% to R13.2 billion. 

Comparable store sales were up 4.1%. The total comparable market’s retail sales per the Retailers’ Liaison Committee (RLC) grew by 3.4%, resulting in the company gaining 130 basis points market share over the period.

CEO Mark Blair said, “We anticipated a shift in momentum once we had successfully navigated the disruption of our ERP System change and the installation of load-shedding backup power facilities in all our stores.” 

“Our trading performance improved monthly and was strong during the critical month of December, with retail sales up 15.5% and a market share gain of 180 basis points.” 

“Our group’s growth was led by our flagship division, Mr Price Apparel, and further supported by strong sales growth from our acquisitions, which were fully in the base.” 

He said the most pleasing aspect of this result is that group sales were also achieved at a higher gross margin percentage than last year.

Mr Price said the quarter started slowly in October and improved into November. 

The total comparable market’s retail sales grew 0.8% cumulatively in these two months, while the company recorded growth of 5.3%. 

Mr Price gained 80 basis points of market share over these months, including during the key Black Friday week. 

Performance improved significantly in December as retail sales grew 15.5% – comparable store sales up 8.0% – at a higher gross margin percentage than the prior year.

The company achieved gross margin gains in each of its trading segments and in eight of the nine trading divisions during the period.

In particular, apparel performed well over the period, contributing 83.2% to total sales, followed by its home segment with 14.2%.

Total store sales increased 10.1%, while online sales, which contributed 1.8% to retail sales, increased 2.9% during the period, with a strong growth of 10.5% in December.

Group retail selling price inflation of 4.9% was well managed below CPI despite more full-price items being sold as fewer markdowns were actioned in comparison to the prior year. 

Total unit sales increased 5.0% to 105.4 million.