Metcash: COVID shopping habits to stay

02/09/2021

Jeffery Adams, Metcash CEO

Jeffery Adams, Metcash CEO. Image source: www.smh.com.au

Metcash Chief Executive Officer, Jeffery Adams, said he expects consumer behaviour will not change until Australia’s international borders re-open, with the dramatic changes in consumption habits caused by the pandemic here to stay, according to a recent Sydney Morning Herald report.

In a trading update ahead of its annual general meeting, Metcash reported that it is still benefiting from major shifts in shopping trends, particularly as Australians build their way through the pandemic and migrate from capital cities to regional areas where it has a stronger store presence

“We thought we would see a drop-off after getting through that initial ‘panic buying period’ last year, but that has not happened. Instead, those who sought us out initially have stuck around and continued to shop,” Mr Adams said.

While it was difficult to predict the future, Mr Adams expects Metcash’s performance will remain constant until “significant change” to the country’s current situation, with the company’s results making clear that state lockdowns had “little to no effect” on the overall performance of the group.

“Until Australians will be able to leave the country and take holidays I cannot see a circumstance that would disrupt the current growth trajectory,” he said in the report.

The update also indicated that Metcash’s trading over the 16 weeks to mid-August was tracking well above pre-COVID levels.

Metcash’s total hardware sales were up 16.3 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Recent pauses to construction in New South Wales and Victoria have not affected the groups’ hardware division, according to Mr Adams who said, “The individual still needs their house renovated and will seek us out for supplies at some point.”

Metcash also reported that it has benefitted from various, recent shifts in consumer behaviour including local shopping, migrations out of the cities and into regional areas, eating and drinking at home and a rise in DIY activity and residential renovations.

Metcash shares fell 2.45 per cent to $3.98 on September 1, according to the report.