The $ 4.9 billion retailer’s stores lost over 42,000 trading days this fiscal year.
Premier is one of Australia’s largest retailers, with more than $ 1.4 billion in annual sales and nearly 900 stores across the country with seven brands – Peter Alexander, Smiggle, Dotti, Just Jeans, Jay Jays, Portmans and Jacqui E.
On September 23, the group announced that sales had declined 9.5 percent in the first seven weeks of the first half and since then stores have gradually reopened in NSW, ACT, Victoria and New Zealand.
Premier opened all of its stores worldwide for the first time three weeks ago this fiscal year, with sales up 10.1 percent over the same three weeks last year.
Mr Lew told investors at the virtual annual meeting on Thursday that his products had met with customers as stores reopened.
âAs a result, sales in the 17 weeks up to 27
âWhile we still have some significant trading weeks ahead of us, the customer reaction to our products makes us confident for the remainder of the half. While we recognize that the group is still operating in very uncertain times, we are confident that we are taking the measures we can to maintain maximum flexibility and control our fate. “
The billionaire retailer added that Premier continues to invest in inventory, brands and critical infrastructure like its distribution center and corporate headquarters.
Richard Murray, Chief Executive of Premier Retail, attended his first annual meeting since taking office in September after leaving the same position at JB Hi-Fi.
The group didn’t talk about their Black Friday sales event like last year, but Mr Murray said he was “very pleased” with how Premier is getting into the all-important Christmas trade.
âI don’t want you to read this as negative, but I think we didn’t comment specifically on Black Friday or exceeded our expectations. We are very pleased with the performance of both in-store and online performance across all brands, âhe said.
“Especially when you take into account the logistical challenges of bringing inventory into the country and then distributing it to the various states from our tracking data warehouse.”
Premier has received nearly $ 87 million in JobKeeper support in the past two fiscal years, but after the group nearly doubled profits in fiscal 2021, the group bowed to the pressure and paid $ 15.6 million of the Subsidies back.
Ownership Matters proxy asked institutional clients to vote for the compensation report, but against granting 800,000 performance rights to Mr. Murray.
A year ago the company had a strong initial strike against its compensation report, but this year it only had a small protest vote from nearly 10 percent of the proxy voting.
There were several questions from investors about ethically sourcing products, with person one asking if the company was planning to release its supplier list, as rival Mosaic Brands had.
Mr Lew said the Prime Minister takes ethical sourcing very seriously.
âWe have strict procurement principles, including compliance with all laws in the country we purchase from an operator. We have no tolerance for modern slavery in all its forms, âhe said.
“Releasing our supplier list is very sensitive information and this is IP owned by the company.”