Shoppers are buying less booze online than a year ago but the boss of Dan Murphy’s operator Endeavour Group says in-store browsing drove retail sales growth for the group in the March quarter.
Endeavour recorded $2.8 billion in sales across its retail and hotels business over the three months to April 2, an increase of 3.7 per cent on the same time last year.
Total sales at the company’s drinks business were up by 1.2 per cent to $2.3 billion, but online sales slipped from $222 million to $191 million.
“Promotional activity in the market remains elevated, particularly in the online channel, where we have focused on maintaining profitable sales as the market normalises,” the company said in an update to investors.
On a call with analysts on Tuesday morning, Endeavour Group boss Steve Donohue said he was happy with the fact Dan Murphy’s was focused on driving profitable sales even during a period of heavy discounting across the online alcohol market. He noted the company was no different from other retailers in the moderation of online sales.
“We’ve been really pleased with the performance of our bricks and mortar numbers,” he said.
Endeavour also had growth across its hotels business, recording sales growth of 18.5 per cent compared to the same time last year, coming in at $480 million.
The strongest growth was recorded in the first five weeks of the year, ahead by 31.5 per cent as families went to the pub for summer catch-ups, and this slowed to growth of 11.8 per cent over the past eight weeks.
Sporting events and live entertainment brought more consumers into the hotels business, and Donohue said the group was “pretty comfortable” with the performance of the accommodation segment.