Nick Grayston, Managing Director of Warehouse Group. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Years of restructuring are bearing fruit for the warehouse, the brand posting record results for fiscal year 2021 despite the containment of the Covid-19.
department store chain, which also operates stationery,
Electronics and Sporting Goods reported a net profit of $ 117.7 million as of August 1, 2021, up 164% from 44.5 million the previous year.
Adjusting for unusual items, including a wage subsidy of $ 67.6 million, underlying profit was $ 175.5 million, up from $ 32.1 million the year before. Total sales rose 7.6% to $ 3.4 billion, online sales up 5% to $ 393.1 million, or 11.5% of total group sales.
Managing Director Nick Grayston said the past 12 months have given more confidence that the group’s “customer-driven” strategy is working.
“We are seeing the benefits of our transformation agenda and are participating through significant digital investments to improve existing systems and position ourselves to deliver a superior experience for our teams and customers. “
Grayston said the restructuring that began in 2017 was important to being “nimble and agile,” helping the company recognize how customer buying habits are changing.
“Frankly, it was not an easy trip,” he said.
The company cut hundreds of jobs last year, including several, drawing fire from unions who accused them of using Covid-19 to justify operational decisions already under consideration.
But Grayston, whose total salary rose from $ 2.86 million in 2020 to $ 2.38 million in 2021, and President Joan Withers have justified the changes to compete with global players like Amazon and the landscape of the fast moving retail.
The company’s stock price has improved dramatically over the past year, increasing nearly 100% during that time. The stock recently traded at $ 4.15, down from a low of $ 1.50 in March of last year.
Despite some media pressure, the company benefited from “pent-up demand” after the lockdown, with higher sales enabling it to pay for wage subsidies.
Grayston said the investment in digital infrastructure, including a complete redesign of its website to combine divisions such as Noel Lemming, was essential for The Warehouse.
“So it all comes from a customer-centric ecosystem that is designed to recognize and reward customers, allowing them to shop easily and when they want. ” They said.
Online shopping has more than doubled since pre-Covid, which has been boosted by some of the actions the company has taken around click and collect.
“All of these things have improved the customer experience and the Customer Net Promoter Score has actually increased by over 10% this year.
Since the first lockdown in 2020, Grayston said the company has learned a lot about how it works during the lockdown and the second lockdown has gone very well, ”said Grayston.
“We had to react very quickly. Because, although we are in the middle of 18 months or more, there was not a lot of clear guidance on what was needed and we had a really good conversation with MBIE about it.
“As soon as we got clarity, we identified and identified these objects,” Grayston said.
“It is thanks to the investments made in our website that we have been able to do business at several levels in one part of the country and only in the essential and not essential in another part.
“Without these investments in reconfiguration and systems, we wouldn’t be able to do it,” he said.
“In terms of setting up an in-store distribution center to collect dark stores, the ability to rotate our employees and operate within safe guidelines.
“We analyzed the lockdown first and made sure we captured all of these things.
“And so in the last few days it’s gotten a lot easier, because you know what to expect. It is not the same thing with different dynamics. But unfortunately, it’s not one of those things that you can really do well. want. ”Grayston said.
Withers said the year-end results exceeded expectations. The board of directors declared a final dividend of 17.5c shares, bringing the total dividend for the year to 35.5c shares, including a special payment of 5c announced in February.