25 Nov 2011

Postie Plus blames school holiday change for sales drop

7:31 am on 25 November 2011

Clothing retailer Postie Plus has blamed the Rugby World Cup for contributing to a drop in first quarter sales.

The group recorded sales of nearly $24 million, a fall of nearly 4.5% on the same time last year.

It says trading has continued to be difficult in the apparel sector.

The company says the Rugby World Cup had affected school uniform sales in October because of the change in school terms.

Uniforms make up to 15% of the company's business.

Postie Plus's chief executive Ron Boskell says Postie Plus was among the retailers badly affected by the rugby tournament.

He says the last term of the year is now eight weeks, as opposed to the traditional 10 to 12 weeks, so a number of parents have made the decision not to buy a new school uniform because of the short length of term four.

It says inventory is about 5% below last year and costs continue to be tightly controlled.

But Mr Boskell says the first quarter drop in sales is an aberration because Postie Plus has had quarterly increases all the time over the last three years and its market share has continued to increase.

He says he would be most surprised if the company didn't pick up additional sales in the November through to February period as parents look to buy their children new school uniforms for 2012.