10 May 2011

Public holiday double-up blamed for sales fall

1:35 pm on 10 May 2011

Sales at Briscoe Group have fallen so far this year, which the retailer says is due to two public holidays in April falling on the same day.

Sales at the group's Briscoes Homeware, Rebel Sports, Living and Giving, and Urban Loft stores fell to $96.3 million in the three months to May, a drop of 0.5% compared to the same period last year.

Briscoes managing director Rod Duke estimates the group lost $3 million in earnings when Easter Monday and Anzac Day fell on the same day, meaning one fewer sales promotion.

Mr Duke says the Christchurch earthquake has also hit sales, not only by lowering consumer demand, but also because stores were closed temporarily, one having to be demolished.

The region's sales have since recovered, he says, as insurance claims are settled.

When comparing sales at stores open more than a year, and excluding the Christchurch stores affected by the earthquake, sales rose by 0.68%.