24 Aug 2011

Retail outlook uncertain - Smiths City

6:19 am on 24 August 2011

Smiths City says the retail outlook remains uncertain, but it is fully prepared for the Christchurch rebuild.

Chairman Craig Boyce told shareholders at its annual meeting on Tuesday that sales in the three months to the end of July are just below budget, with profit ahead.

Mr Boyce said he is not expecting a real lift in the retail market over the next year, but there may be some boost in rural Christchurch if a good spring and summer and favourable prices boost confidence.

But he said Wellington is likely to be very subdued as the Government cuts spending.

Smiths City hopes to have its redeveloped flagship open in Colombo Street before Show Week in November.

The one-storey premises will restore 80% of the group's trading capacity in Christchurch.

The company also wants to get more stores selling products online.