Despite delivering its FY23 results, a lot of attention has turned to negative growth from JB Hi-Fi and The Good Guys for the first 31 days of the new financial year.

JB Hi-Fi CEO Terry Smart provided a FY24 Trading Update which provided a snapshot of sales for the month of July 2023 vs the same month a year earlier.

JB Hi-Fi sales in Australia were 1.8 per cent down compared to a year earlier, but were 38.7 per cent higher than the same month four years earlier pre-Covid (FY19). Once new stores were removed, the overall result of July 2023 vs July 2022 was down 2.9 per cent.

The Good Guys sales in Australia were 12 per cent down compared to a year earlier, but were 22 per cent higher than the same month four years earlier pre-Covid (FY19).

Smart said July sales remain in line with the Group’s expectations “cycling the elevated period from last year. While total sales continue to be well above pre-Covid July FY19, the Group has seen increased variability in category performance”.

The decline was not weighted further to the back end of the month and was also related to weather events in the corresponding month in 2022 particularly in Queensland and New South Wales which saw laundry and seasonal sales down year on year. Consumer electronics were also down more in The Good Guys business than in the JB Hi-Fi business for the month of July – as The Good Guys were not seen necessarily as top of mind for customers in this category.

Smart noted that stock availability is returning to normal, trading is getting tougher with increased discounting being observed and other retailers are increasing their promotional activity. It was also noted that they are working with suppliers to execute targeted promotions to help move excess stock.

Costs were also identified as areas to watch for the retailer with award wage increases,  superannuation increases, energy costs and rental agreements that were indexed to inflation.

“In this challenging retail environment – we will remain top of mind for shoppers. We have grown our market share by continuing to drive our value offering by continuing to leverage the strength of our multi-channel offer and maintaining high levels of service.

“We have a diverse mix including stores, online, commercial, phone and live chat so we can cater for different shopping needs.

“Our target customer for JB is generally younger and looking for the latest must-have latest-tech.

“The Good Guys target customer while being home-making families is generally those looking to replace broken appliances.”