After a lacklustre first half, margins picked up strongly in the second half of Metcash’s financial year, which CEO Mark Laidlaw attributed to better ranging and competitive pricing, and buying synergies with its parent company beginning to take effect.
Laidlaw noted that trade sales had been good, despite adverse weather conditions affecting the second and third quarters. Warehouse and chargeback sales were also encouraging and sales overall were benefitting from the network’s stability. Ranging and marketing initiatives were also gaining traction, spearheaded by an effective ‘Locked Down Low Prices’ campaign on 1,300 SKUs that commenced in February.
The presentation came on the back of a positive research report released by independent analyst Roy Morgan Research. The Retail Satisfaction Report ranked Mitre 10 narrowly ahead of Bunnings in customer satisfaction with 88% of customers happy with their shopping experience during the first three months of 2011. Bunnings returned a satisfaction rating of 87%, followed by Home Hardware (84%) and True Value Hardware (83%).