Mr Price. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA
Mr Price. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA

Retailer Mr Price said on Friday it had gained market share in its third quarter to December 28, and is keeping prices low to entrench its position in a trading environment where consumers are cutting back on non-essential items.

Retail sales and other income grew 3.5% to R7.4bn during the quarter, with the group saying it had grown market share in both October and November, months for which Retailers' Liaison Committee (RLCdata is available.

The group said it was focused on inventory management, had had kept prices unchanged from the same period in 2018, which had the desired effect of increasing unit growth in Mr Price Apparel by 5.3% — the group’s largest division.

Consumers continue to be constrained, highlighted by the Bureau for Economic Research consumer confidence index remaining negative at -7 index points in the fourth quarter, Mr Price said.

“The group sees this as an opportunity to continue gaining market share and building on the improved performance in the third quarter, by offering quality merchandise at everyday low prices,” the statement read.

The group reported that group retail sales momentum had continued “to build positively” for the period to January 15.

In morning trade on Friday, shares in Mr Price were 4.31% down at R184.10, putting it on track for its worst one-day performance in almost five months.