By Keri Algar

SYDNEY, NSW: Dick Smith and Big W parent company, Woolworths, has revealed anaemic consumer electronic sales for Q1 in Australia, requiring its investment in India to bump up the average sales growth to 4.1 per cent.

Consumer electronic sales in Australia increased by 0.9 per cent for Q1, an arguably disappointing outcome when compared to rival retailer JB Hi-Fi who reported sales up 12.2 per cent (albeit 5 per cent behind budget) for the same quarter.

The total sales growth was lower than the comparable sales growth of 3.3 per cent due to the transitioning of the business and the closure of small unprofitable stores, according to a statement released on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) this morning.

“Consumer electronics continues to be impacted by tightened consumer spending in Australia with increased price competition across the sector and price deflation in key products, exacerbated by the strong Australian dollar,” said the statement to shareholders on the ASX.

According to the annual report released last month, Dick Smith will continue to roll out new format stores, signage and branding. Furthermore, the report said recruitment and staff training will be focussed on sales techniques and customer service.

Big W sales for Q1 were $1,066 million, representing a decrease of 2.7 per cent. Comparable store sales for the quarter decreased 3.9 per cent.

Overall, the Woolworths conglomerate registered sales of $13.9 billion in the quarter, up 4.2 per cent. Woolworths’ CEO, Michael Luscombe said it was a “solid start” to the financial year.