Woolworths reported today a 118% rise in online food sales as the retailer benefited from a pandemic-led digital boom in South Africa.
“Online sales grew by 117.9% over the current year, contributing 2.3% to our South African Food sales,” the retailer informed investors today.
“This was further supported by the expanded Click-and-Collect offering and the roll out of our on-demand delivery service, Woolies Dash.”
The Woolworths Food business grew both market share and volumes during the period despite the high base set in the prior year driven by stockpiling ahead of the first lockdown.
Sales for the current year grew by 6.9%, and by 5.7% in comparable stores, on price movement of 5.2% and underlying product inflation of 4.9%.
Net space increased by 0.6%. Sales in the second half of the current year grew by 3.2%, and by 16.9% over a two-year period, reflective of the investment in innovation and our robust business model. Whilst there has been some reversion in customer shopping behaviour, frozen foods and groceries continue to deliver strong growth.
“Due to the continued Covid-related trading restrictions, trade in cafes, and wine and beverages remains negatively impacted,” the retailer said.
“We continue to invest in price in key product categories to improve our value proposition, while remaining focused on product quality, innovation and convenience.”
The sales performance of the Woolworths Fashion, Beauty and Home (FBH) business continues to be impacted by several factors, including the constrained environment, the decline in demand for formalwear, as well as initiatives to streamline the private label offerings and rationalise unproductive space, the retailer said.
Total revenue for the current year increased by 3.5% and by 4.2% in comparable stores, while sales in the second half of the current year grew by 24.1% on last year?s non-comparable base.
Price movement in FBH was 7.5%, and 5.3% in Fashion, due to the higher promotional activity in the prior year. Online sales grew by 114.4%, contributing 4.1% to South African sales. “The reduction in net space of 6.4% has translated into improved trading densities.”