As Australia continues to tackle its current wave of the Omicron covid variant, online sales for retailer Myer increased by 54 percent. In-store sales were hampered significantly however, overall sales had actually improved in the five months before January.
Total sales for the five months ending the 1st January 2022 were 12.3 percent higher than the corresponding period the year before.
Myer has not published exact profit numbers however; the retailer has illustrated that higher costs of doing business in the five months ending 1st January 2022 had offset improved operating gross profit. About 27 percent of trading days at the bricks and mortar outlets were lost in the five-month period as a result of extended lockdowns that took place in Sydney and Melbourne from July onwards.
Myer chief executive John King revealed that online sales made up 27.7 percent of total sales during the five-month period, up from 20.2 percent in the corresponding period. Online sales rose 54 percent in the five months ending 1st January.
Mr. King says that Myer has shown huge resilience despite the difficult the trading conditions their business is facing
“Whilst we are seeing omicron impact sales post-Christmas, we will continue to focus on growing our strong online business, ongoing engagement across our Myer One program and disciplined management of costs and inventory,” says Myer chief executive John King.
The Myer board survived a spill at its annual meeting in November 2021 which was backed by its largest shareholder, billionaire Solomon Lew.
Myer suffered a first strike at the previous year’s annual meeting. The retailer also incurred a second strike against its pay report in 2018, but avoided a board spill on that occasion also.
Myer currently has 59 bricks and mortar department shops, but has been placing more of their investments into their online operations.
John King said that after lockdowns ended in Sydney and Melbourne, trading had been strong in the department stores in the lead-up to Christmas. In November and December, sales were up 17.1 percent compared to the previous year.
The retailer also outlined that 27 percent of bricks-and-mortar trading days were lost during the first quarter due to Covid-19 mandated store closures.
245,600 Jobs Across Australia Were Advertised Online in December 2021
The current demand for jobs in farming, animal and planet specialists is at a record high in Australia.
CommSec senior economist Ryan Felsman outlined that the unusually high summer rainfall in regional areas had boosted employment openings.
‘With the end of the drought, significant rainfall, improved seasonal growing conditions, elevated soft commodity prices and strong global demand for food and beverages, demand for farmers, skilled animal and horticultural workers have all surged with job ads at record highs, says CommSec senior economist Ryan Felsman.
There were over 250 farmer related jobs advertised on the internet last month. This is a record for jobs advertised online since stats were first complied in January 2006.
Records were also set for skilled animal and horticultural workers with 1,606 jobs advertised, and jewellers, arts and other trades 1,157 jobs advertised.
Australian workers are also needed to care for others, with the current demand at record levels for health and welfare support workers at 2,095 ads and carers and aides with 11,905 ads.
The hospitality sector is also in desperate need of staff with 9,847 ads for hospitality workers and another 3,462 jobs currently available for food preparation assistants.
The major reason for so many new job positions being advertised is because restaurants and cafes had hired staff since the Delta outbreak lockdowns, and consumers began to show more desire to dine out again despite the spread of Omicron.
“’Australia’s labour market is tightening, despite recent disruptions caused by the surge in Covid-19 Omicron virus variant infections,” says Ryan Felsman.
In December 2021, 245,600 jobs were advertised online, marking a 46 percent increase when compared with the number of jobs advertised in February 2020 before the pandemic.
In 2021, job advertisements climbed by 37.4 percent or 66,900, with the Nationals Skills Commission compiling data from employment site Seek.
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