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Michael Hill Sees Record Online Sales

Total for three weeks ending May 14 beats Christmas 2019 levels.
May 18, 2020 6:11 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... E-commerce sales at Michael Hill reached an all-time high in late April and early May as the Australia-based retailer responded to changing consumer attitudes amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Digital revenues for the three weeks ending May 14 broke a record the company set during the 2019 Christmas season, it reported Thursday.

“The surge in our digital sales signals a notable shift in consumer behavior in the jewelry category,” Michael Hill CEO Daniel Bracken explained. “We have been quick to respond and harness this opportunity, with the implementation of a number of digital initiatives to continue to attract new customers and maintain the momentum.”

The jeweler has launched virtual appointments, where customers can shop live online with sales professionals. The retailer has also started an online video hub to give buyers the latest information on new product launches, expert advice, styling tips and a gift guide, as well as a shoppable catalog that links to products on the website. Michael Hill intends to continue these new initiatives once physical locations resume service, it said.

After an initial trial at select locations, the company reopened 100 stores in Australia and 25 in New Zealand on Saturday, with the rest to follow over the next month. Stores in Canada will be reopened from late May. The jeweler expects to have all remaining locations operating by early June, except nine underperforming stores it plans to shut permanently. Further store closures are likely across all markets, based on store performance, Michael Hill noted.

Pent-up consumer demand led to year-on-year sales growth in Australia for the period running up to Mother’s Day, the company reported.

“The next six months and beyond will continue to be challenging, however, we are well-placed in each market to emerge as a strong and more relevant jewelry brand,” Bracken added.

Image: A Michael Hill store in Australia. (Michael Hill)
Tags: Coronavirus, Daniel Bracken, Michael Hill, Mother’s Day, Rapaport News
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