Kmart and Target on the up

Wesfarmers has revealed first quarter 2013 sales results for both Target and Kmart, with both retailers on the rise despite the rocky retail landscape.

Total sales for target peaked at of $853 million for the quarter, 2.2 per cent above the previous corresponding period, although comparable store sales declined 4.1 per cent.

Sister store Kmart fared better, however, achieving sales of $956 million for the quarter, 3.1 per cent above the previous corresponding period, with comparable store sales increasing 2.2 per cent.

Commenting on the results, Target managing director Dene Rogers said the underlying sales trend continued to improve, particularly in the homewares, footwear and intimate apparel categories.

“Customer numbers were higher during the quarter as our mid-tier position was strengthened through better marketing, improved service levels, further expansion of the Target essentials range and growth in the online offer,” he said.

However, Rogers admitted that comparable store sales declined as a result of bringing forward the timing of the mid-year 'Toy Sale' into June and also the strategy to improve promotional effectiveness which affected sales.

Commenting on Kmart's positive results, Kmart managing director Guy Russo said sales growth for the quarter was achieved through improved product availability, better ranging and a positive customer response to ongoing investment in lowering prices on everyday items.

“Customers continued to respond positively to the wide range of everyday items at low prices, and this has been reflected in the eleventh consecutive quarter of growth in transactions and units sold,” he said.

“Growth in the womenswear, footwear and homewares categories has been particularly pleasing.”

Wesfarmers managing director Richard Goyder said he was pleased with the sales results overall, with transaction growth exceeding sales growth in each of the businesses in most of the company's retail businesses.

“Kmart’s total sales [results] reflect an increased sales contribution from new stores. This is the eleventh period in succession of solid comparable growth in transactions and units for Kmart, as customers respond positively to its market leading pricing strategy and improved merchandise offer,” he said.

“Excluding the effect of the Toy Sale, Target’s underlying sales trend also continued to show improvement, providing confidence in the division’s transformation plan. Customer numbers have also increased as Target focused on improving its in-store offer, promotional effectiveness and communication of the quality and value of its product range.”

Goyder added that all of the retail divisions are making strong progress in implementing their strategic plans with all businesses well positioned ahead of the important Christmas trading period.

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