Super Retail Group making happy campers

Outdoors retailer Super Retail Group has delivered a resilient trading update, marked by a strong run in sales as Australians head out camping, as international travel restrictions continue to limit options.

The collective of brands including Supercheap Auto, BCF, Rebel and Macpac, covers retailing of auto parts and accessories, tools and equipment, retailing of boating, camping, outdoor equipment, fishing equipment and apparel and sporting equipment and apparel.

The group achieved like-for-like sales growth of 28% at week 44 of FY21 versus FY20, reporting the growth across all of its four core brands, although driven largely by a massive 59% jump at the business’ camping-focused brand BCF.

Sales at Supercheap Auto rose 21% for the same period, and 20% at sports retailer Rebel, while even the historically underperforming outdoor apparel retailer Macpac performed well, up 17%.

The company showed investors that sales had still increased 26% when compared to the 2019 financial year, a non-COVID-affected period.

Super Retail has seen some higher shipping costs due to international supply chain weaknesses.

It also expects some higher costs through the second half of the year as the business catches up on expenditure for COVID-delayed projects.

Managing Director and CEO Anthony Heraghty commented, “I am pleased to report that the Group has delivered strong Easter trading across all brands, particularly BCF and Macpac. “Given the continued strength of customer demand, the Group has maintained relatively subdued levels of promotional activity in the second half. As a result, the gross margin improvement which the Group delivered in the first half has been maintained in the second half. The Group is in a well-stocked inventory position, which has benefitted from the arrival of orders made in the first half. Higher shipping costs in the second half have impacted inventory costs but these have been partly offset by favourable currency movements."