Social distancing and travel restrictions are taking their toll on Australia’s retail sector. With shoppers choosing to stay indoors foot traffic has slowed dramatically as have sales.
Fears around the spread of coronavirus have prompted many retailers to shut their doors. So, let’s take a look at the ASX retailers that have closed stores in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
Accent Group Ltd (ASX: AX1)
Accent Group closed all of its 500 or so stores from 5pm on Friday for a period of 4 weeks. Retail employees and the majority of support office employees were stood down without pay for the period. The Group continues to trade through its 18 websites and wholesale business. Accent Group shares have fallen 68% from their February peak of $2.13 and are now trading at 68 cents.
Adairs Ltd (ASX: ADH)
Adairs closed all Australian stores from close of business on Sunday. Its six New Zealand stores and Mocka’s New Zealand operations were closed on Tuesday 24 March in line with New Zealand Government requirements. Store teams and the majority of customer support office staff have been stood down.
The closure is expected to last four to six weeks, with reopening dependent on Government directions and health and safety assessments. Online channels of both Adairs and Mocka will continue to operate in Australia during this period. The Adairs share price is down 73% from its February high of $2.62 with shares currently trading at 72 cents.
City Chic Collective Ltd (ASX: CCX)
City Chic closed Australian stores at the end of last week following the closure of New Zealand stores on 25 March 2020. The company said it would not stand down any full time or part-time team members for the next month.
City Chic is working with landlords on rents while stores are closed, with approximately half the store portfolio in holdover. Costs in relation to activities driven by stores are being reduced as are costs across head office. City Chic says it is in a strong financial position with significant headroom in its $35 million debt facility, which expires in February 2023.
The City Chic share price has declined 70% from its February high of $3.58 with shares currently trading at $1.07.
Kathmandu Holdings Ltd (ASX: KMD)
Kathmandu closed its Australian stores across the Kathmandu and Rip Curl brands on Friday following the closure of New Zealand stores on 24 March. The online store continues to operate. Retail and head office staff, with the exception of a skeleton crew, were stood down without pay for 4 weeks.
Kathmandu is engaged in negotiations with landlords and has made ‘aggressive’ cancellations of orders to control inventory levels. Planned capital expenditure has been cancelled or deferred. Senior management has taken a 20% salary reduction until further notice.
Dividend payments have been suspended until more normal trading conditions resume. The Kathmandu share price has fallen 73% from its February high of $3.54 and is currently trading at 96 cents.
Lovisa Holdings Ltd (ASX: LOV)
Lovisa shut all Australian, New Zealand, and South African stores last week. Stores in France, Spain, Malaysia, the US and UK have also been shuttered, while stores in Singapore remain trading. Store teams have been stood down in all markets across the world where shops are closed. Headcount has also been reduced in support teams through a combination of stand-downs and redundancies.
Lovisa has deferred payment of its interim dividend of 15 cents per share until 30 September, with the decision to be reviewed again prior to that date. The Lovisa share price has declined 61% from its February high of $12 and is currently trading at $4.65.
Michael Hill International Ltd (ASX: MHJ)
Michael Hill closed its Australian store network last week for an indefinite period. The New Zealand store network was also suspended in accordance with government directives and the Canadian store network was closed on 20 March. Team members have been stood down with access to leave entitlements.
The company has chosen to defer payment of its interim dividend of 1.5 cents per share to 30 September, with the decision to be reviewed again prior to that date. Michael Hill shares have fallen 63% from a February high of 65 cents and are now trading at 24 cents.
Mosaic Brands Ltd (ASX: MOZ)
Mosaic Brands closed its more than 1,350 stores from Thursday 26 March. The company is behind stores including Noni B, Millers, Rivers, Rockmans, and Cross Roads. Store staff have been stood down with access to leave entitlements.
The online operations will continue with customers able to purchase from the company’s nine brand websites. Mosaic Brands is reviewing its cost of doing business with a view to reducing costs to match expected revenue. Mosaic Brands shares are down 81% from their February high of $1.82 and are now trading at 35 cents.
Myer Holdings Ltd (ASX: MYR)
Myer closed all stores from close of business on Sunday for an initial period of 4 weeks. An estimated 10,000 team members have been stood down. The online business will continue to operate and a small group of business-critical roles will be maintained, operating on 80% of their normal salaries.
All necessary measures are being taken to minimise the cost base including engaging in ongoing discussions with suppliers and landlords. Myer shares have plummeted 78% from their February high of 45 cents and are currently trading at 10 cents.
Premier Investments Limited (ASX: PMV)
Premier Investments closed its 900 Australian retail stores on Thursday 26 March, with reopening scheduled for 22 April 2020. The company had previously closed its stores in New Zealand, Ireland, and the UK. Premier Investments is behind well-known brands Smiggle, Peter Alexander, Just Jeans, Portmans, Jay Jays, Jacqui E, and Dotti.
All Australian employees have been stood down except for a limited number required to perform essential work. The closures impact over 9,000 employees, who will have access to accrued annual and long-service leave entitlements.
Premier Investments has announced it does not intend to pay any rent globally for the duration of the shutdown. Shares in Premier Investments have fallen 51% from a high of $21.31 in February and are currently trading at $10.39.
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Motley Fool contributor Kate O'Brien has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Premier Investments Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Accent Group. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.
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