Accent Group has released its FY2020 trading update reporting that digital sales have helped it weather the COVID-19 storm, with eCommerce sales from April to June up 150%. 

Digital sales for the month of May were $29 million, with the business reporting that it broke its own daily records reaching sales of over $2 million in one day during Click Frenzy. 

In June, digital sales represented 23% of total sales. 

Overall, the business reported that at week 51 (week ending 21 June) total year-to-date sales for FY2020 were $923 million, while adjusted like-for-like sales were up 1.6%. 

Accent also expects that FY2020 EBITDA to be approximately 10% above the $108.9m achieved in FY2019. 

Accent Group CEO Daniel Agostinelli said that the digital strength of the business has seen it through this challenging time. 

"The strong trading performance over the last two months driven by digital has been well ahead of expectations.

"It is clear that there has been a seismic and most likely enduring shift in consumer behaviour.

"With 18 websites and our leading digital capability, Accent Group is capitalising on this trend.

"Through this period Accent has attracted many new customers online who have never shopped with us before.

"We will continue to drive digital growth as the number one priority in our company," he said. 

As reported by Ragtrader Accent was also four days ahead of its store-reopening plan, meaning it was able to reinstate some store staff and begin trading through its 500-strong store network. 

From June 01 the business was able to stand up its 1500 permanent employees to full employment and full pay. 

The business was able to do this, in part, due to cooperation with landlords. 

Accent reports that it has conducted successful negotiations with landlord partners and has continued to pay rent in the majority of its stores where the landlords were open to working to the conditions of the National Cabinet's Code of Conduct for commercial leases. 

However, Agostinelli said that if agreements can't be reached with the remaining landlords, the business will close those stores. 

"We are committed to maintaining our position as the largest multi-channel footwear retailer in our market.

"The mix of Accent’s superior digital capability and the magic of our stores gives us a key competitive advantage, but it is important that we reach agreement with our landlords for sustainable and fair rental deals.

"With landlords where this cannot be achieved, we will close stores.

"We are delighted to report that to date we have been able to reach agreement with the vast majority of our major and independent landlords," he said. 

The business reports that sales in New Zealand, Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland and regional areas have bounced back more strongly than the metro centres in Melbourne and Sydney. 

Accent also reports that activewear and performance running continues to remain strong in Stylerunner and The Athlete's Foot. 

Accent's FY2020 final operating profit below the EBITDA line is expected to include a non-cash impairment of assets of $3-4m on several store and other assets where revenue has been impacted in the current environment.

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