Mr Price Sport was the group's star performer in the December quarter. PICTURE: SUPPLIED
Mr Price Sport was the group's star performer in the December quarter. PICTURE: SUPPLIED

After enjoying a bumper Christmas in 2017 as consumers celebrated “Ramaphoria” by buying clothes, Mr Price had a pedestrian festive season in 2018.

In a sales update for the December quarter — the third quarter of its financial year — Mr Price said a deterioration in SA consumer confidence contrasted with “the optimism experienced in December 2017 post the ANC election outcome and subsequent change in SA’s president, which provided temporary support to the retail sector”.

Black Friday sales in November were also disappointing compared with the previous year, Mr Price said.

The group’s overall retail sales and other income grew 3.5% to R7.1bn in the December quarter compared with the same period in 2017.

Retail sales alone grew just 1.9%, with its sports division the star performer, recording 12.7% growth. 

Its flagship Mr Price apparel division grew sales 0.4% and Miladys 0.2%, contributing to an overall growth of 1.4% in its clothing division.

Mr Price Home grew sales 4.9% and Sheet Street 1%.

Echoing Woolworths, which also released a sales update on Thursday morning, Mr Price reported its online sales were growing fast — but did not say how large a contribution e-commerce was making versus its traditional bricks and mortar stores.

“SA retail sales grew 1.1% to R6.2bn. Store sales were up 0.7% and online sales up 38.7%. The MRP Apparel online channel achieved sales growth of 35.4%, MRP Home 54.9% and MRP Sport 40.5%. Non-SA corporate-owned stores sales increased by 13.1% to R505.8m,” the trading update said.

laingr@businesslive.co.za