Wesfarmers’ retail sales in line with expectations

The Australian Wesfarmers Group, parent company of Bunnings, provides an update on the impact of the Covid-19 on its businesses. Since the start of the calendar year, overall momentum in the Group's retail sales has continued in line with the first half of the financial year, the company states. Strong sales growth has continued in Bunnings, Kmart and Officeworks, supported by strong growth in online sales. In recent weeks, Bunnings and Officeworks, in particular, have played an important role providing retail and commercial customers with critical products as they respond to and prepare for Covid-19. This has seen significant demand for essential cleaning and hygiene products, home office equipment and technology, and education supplies. Despite the continuation of sales growth to date across most operating divisions and moderated supply chain risks, there has, in recent days been a weakness in sales of discretionary products such as apparel, particularly in Target. This shift in customer behaviour is expected to continue and represents a risk to the outlook for retail sales across the group as Australian and other governments take action to contain the impact of Covid-19.