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Postie Plus 1Q sales hit due to school term changes

Thursday 24th November 2011

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Clothing chain Postie Plus reported a 4.3 percent fall in first-quarter sales, blaming the changes to the school year to cater for the Rugby World Cup for sapping demand for school uniforms.

The Christchurch-based company’s sales were $23.97 million in the three months ended Oct. 31, down from $25.01 million a year earlier, it said in a statement.

The retailer’s inventory was 5 percent below the same period in 2010, and it is continuing to focus on cutting costs.

“While trading has continued to be difficult in the apparel sector, it has been exacerbated by the World Cup, which particularly impacted school uniform sales in October because of the change in school terms,” the company said.

Postie Plus grabbed market share from its rivals in the 2011 financial year, helping boost annual earnings 58 percent to $656,000 in the 12 months ended July 31, bucking the trend among other listed clothing retailers Pumpkin Patch and Hallenstein Glasson which both reported weaker results.

New Zealanders spent $807 million on clothing, footwear and accessories in the three months ended Sept. 30, up from $771 million in the September quarter in 2010, according to government data.

Retail spending on apparel has shown steady year-on-year growth since the September quarter 2009. Postie Plus shares last traded at 25 cents on Nov. 21 and have shed 11 percent this year.

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