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Catch, Officeworks and Bunnings sales surge during COVID-19

Wesfarmers businesses including Catch.com.au, Officeworks and Bunnings are seeing significant sales as more customers turn to online shopping, amid coronavirus restrictions.

The Group’s retail businesses delivered total online sales growth of 89 per cent, reflecting the significant investment across the Group in respective e-commerce capabilities in recent years as well as greater customer preference for shopping online during COVID-19.

In a retail trading update released on June 9, Wesfarmers stated Catch.com.au’s total sales in the second half of the financial year (FY20) grew by 68.7 per cent, following Catch’s 21.4 per cent sales growth in the first half of FY20.

Wesfarmers stated that  since its acquisition last August, Catch has provided the group with “pleasing progress”, with strong growth in both in-stock and marketplace segments and ongoing growth in Club Catch subscriptions.

In the retail trading update, Wesfarmers also reaffirmed the group’s commitment to investing in the online channels of Bunnings, Officeworks and Catch.

Sales growth at Bunnings is up 19.2 per cent in the second half of FY20, whilst Officeworks has also seen sales growth in the second half of FY20, up by 27.8 per cent.

The Group stated that in Bunnings, the strong sales performance is supported by continued growth in consumer and commercial markets across all major Australian trading regions and in all product categories.

Whereas for Officeworks, strong sales growth is supported by continued demand for technology, home office furniture and learning and education products.

However, given the significant changes to the usual customer shopping patterns and expected future changes to government measures, it is uncertain whether the higher levels of sales growth will continue for the remainder of the calendar year.

In recent weeks, the Group stated that sales momentum in Kmart and Target has improved with a general increase in customer footfall in shopping centres and a recovery in customer demand for apparel, particularly winter clothing.

“Despite this improvement, weekly sales performance remains highly variable as customer shopping patterns adjust and competitor clearance activity continues,” Wesfarmers stated.

“In Kmart, significant growth in high-demand categories such as home and living ranges has resulted in some availability issues in recent weeks and is expected to impact sales in June.”

On a financial year to date basis, total online sales across the Group increased 60 per cent to $1.4 billion or $1.9 billion including Catch.

Wesfarmers stated that further commentary on divisional performance will be provided as part of the Group’s full-year results in August.

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